Power line triggers California alert

Faced with the sudden loss of a transmission line, the California Independent System Operator (California ISO) issued a Stage 1 power alert Tuesday afternoon, calling upon consumers to conserve power until 8 p.m. PDT. The loss of a major power line from the Pacific Northwest limited California's ability to import power, the ISO said.


Faced with the sudden loss of a transmission line, the California Independent System Operator (California ISO) issued a Stage 1 power alert Tuesday afternoon, calling upon consumers to conserve power until 8 p.m. PDT.

The loss of a major power line from the Pacific Northwest limited California's ability to import power, the ISO said. Late in the day, a spokeswoman said service on the line was being restored and it did not appear the ISO would have to go to a Stage 2 alert.

The ISO said the cause of the transmission loss was initially unknown, but the problem was located south of Portland, Ore. Electricity reserves were already in short supply Tuesday as a heat wave continues to permeate California and the Southwestern region. Peak demand is expected to hit 42,000 Mw.

A Stage 1 emergency takes effect when electricity operating reserves fall below 7%. A Stage 2 is declared when reserves drop below 5%. If an operating reserve shortfall of less than 1�% is unavoidable, Stage 3 is initiated. Involuntary curtailments of service to customers including "rotating blackouts" are probable during this emergency declaration.

Southern California Edison Co. requested consumers to immediately reduce their consumption of electricity. Since May 1, the ISO has declared 10 "Power Watch" days for the state, 11 Stage 1, and 5 Stage 2 emergencies.

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