California calls Stage 2 power alert

The California Independent System Operator called a Stage 2 electricity emergency from 2-8 p.m. Monday and will order state utilities to cut usage by 1,500 Mw through interruptible customer load reductions. It said operating reserves throughout the western US are slim due to widespread heat that has blanketed the area for the third day in a row.


The California Independent System Operator called a Stage 2 electricity emergency from 2-8 p.m. Monday and will order state utilities to cut usage by 1,500 Mw through interruptible customer load reductions.

A spokeswoman said the order will effect Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Southern California Edison Co., and San Diego Gas & Electric. The reduction applies mainly to industrial and commercial customers who receive reduced rates in exchange for a commitment to go off line when asked to do so for reliability purposes.

The California ISO upped its warning to a Stage 2 from Stage 1 after triple digit temperatures throughout the state raised its peak load forecast to 45, 629 Mw from 43,768 Mw earlier in the day. The previous demand record was 45,884 set July 12, 1999.

It said operating reserves throughout the western US are slim due to widespread heat that has blanketed the area for the third day in a row.

A Stage 2 alert is called when operating reserves dip below 5% or are expected to within the next 2 hours. Electricity imports from neighboring states are scarce because the power is needed to serve customers in their own regions.

The ISO also raised to 4,000 from 2,000 Mw the amount of power it is seeking from supplemental bids to meet demand today and Tuesday. It is forecasting the peak load on Tuesday will be 45,596 Mw.

A spokesman said Monday she did not know if the ISO was contemplating exercising its emergency power to limit exports of power from California to other states.

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