California issues "Stage Two" power emergency : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

emergency Updated 4:12 PM ET May 22, 2000 SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The California ISO, which oversees operation of the state's power grid, issued a "stage two" emergency Monday as generators struggle to keep up with soaring air conditioning demand sparked by record heat.

A stage-two emergency is issued when the amount of electricity available from reserve generators drops below 5 percent of the amount of electricity actually being used.

"We issued a Stage Two emergency alert at around 12:30 p.m. (PDT), a spokewoman for the California ISO (Independent System Operator) said.

"At this level, large commercial customers that have signed up to voluntarily curtail power during high demand days will be asked to do so."

Behind the run-up in power demand is a third straight day of scorching heat throughout the state, with many inland cities expected to hit temperatures this afternoon of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees C).

Meteorologists predict one more day of blistering weather before the heat wave breaks.

The ISO said available power supplies are currently cut by about 6,000 megawatts (MW) due to repair or maintenance outages at several of the state's biggest power plants.

The ISO predicted peak load on the system would hit 40,915 MW by late afternoon, short of the 45,884 MW record hit July 12, 1999.

About 27 million of the state's 30 million residents receive their electricity over high voltage lines managed by the California ISO

-- Martin Thompson (, May 23, 2000

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