Richardson says warnings on electric shortages warranted : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

WIRE:05/24/2000 17:27:00 ET Richardson says warnings on electric shortages warranted

WASHINGTON, May 24 (Reuters) - U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said Wednesday that projections by the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) of possible power shortfalls this summer match his agency's recent warnings. NERC on Tuesday issued its annual summer assessment, saying utilities should be able to meet demand but could fall short in certain regions during peak air-conditioning days.

Richardson said the risk is real, and could result in the same type of brownout and blackout conditions that marred slices of New York City, Chicago and other locales last summer, and produced sharp price spikes in wholesale power markets.

"Several regions of the country have reason for concern that there may not be enough power to meet demand," Richardson said in a statement.

"The electric reliability situation in a number of regions of the country bears close watching, particularly given the National Weather Service's forecast for hotter-than-normal weather this summer."

Richardson said there was a good possibility that electricity demand could exceed the planning projections used in generating the NERC assessment.

The Energy Department has been conducting summits across the country on reliability concerns, and implemented a plan to try to add generation during peak demand periods and encourage energy conservation and off-peak usage.

-- Martin Thompson (, May 24, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ