California readying for another hot spell

After a brief respite, electricity-starved California is gearing up for another week of hot weather. The California Independent System Operator (ISO), the agency responsible for the state transmission grid, issued an alert for Friday through Tuesday in anticipation of deficiencies in operating reserves due to high loads and high temperatures.


After a brief respite, electricity-starved California is gearing up for another week of hot weather.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO), the agency responsible for the state transmission grid, issued an alert for Friday through Tuesday in anticipation of deficiencies in operating reserves due to high loads and high temperatures.

On Friday, the ISO requested additional supplemental energy bids of up to 3000 Mw.

"We are looking for high temperatures over the weekend," said a spokeswoman. She said the California market was also affected by wildfires raging across Montana.

The fire melted one major power line and shut down another supplying electricity to the Pacific Northwest. The two 500 kv lines, the Bonneville Power Administration's largest, were knocked out by smoke, heat, and airborne particles from a 11,000-acre fire burning about 25 miles south of Helena.

Loss of the lines has a "trickle down" effect in California which imports power from the Northwest, the ISO spokeswoman explained.

Meanwhile, state politicians and regulators continue to clash over how to resolve the state's electricity crisis. The California Senate passed a measure that calls for 60% cuts in San Diego residents' electricity rates and keeping them flat indefinitely. Still other proposals are pending before the California Public Utility Commission.

More in Pipelines & Transportation