California Power Drained by Heat in Oregon, Arizona : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Tue, 27 Jun 2000, 6:15pm EDT California Power Supplies Drained by Heat in Oregon, Arizona By Christopher Martin

Folsom, California, June 27 (Bloomberg) -- California utilities cut power to some of their largest customers after a heat wave in Oregon and Arizona reduced the amount of power that the companies could import from neighboring states.

PG&E Corp.'s Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Edison International's Southern California Edison, and Sempra Energy's San Diego Gas & Electric cut supplies to customers that had agreed to shutdowns during heatwaves in exchange for lower rates.

A state emergency was called at 10 a.m. local time. The state expected demand to rise to 44,205 megawatts, short of last July's record peak of 45,884. During the five hottest hours of the day, prices on the California Power Exchange rose to the state's cap of $750 a megawatt hour.

``We're getting about 20 percent of the power that we normally import from the Pacific Northwest,'' said Lori O'Donley, a spokeswoman for the California Independent System Operator.

California utilities warned all customers to reduce demand or face blackouts. Pacific Gas & Electric, the state's largest utility, had to cut power to about 100,000 Bay Area customers for as much as three hours each on June 14 to prevent the state's grid from failing.

The three California utilities already have had to reduce power twice this year, because of hot weather in May and June. With no new power-plant capacity expected until 2002, California faces two summers of restrictions.

Temperatures were forecast to rise to a record 96 degrees in Portland, Oregon, and were expected to reach 108 degrees in Phoenix.

Shares of San Francisco-based PG&E fell 15/16 to 25 5/16 on the New York Stock Exchange. Edison International, based in Rosemead, California, fell 1/2 to 21 1/16 and San Diego-based Sempra fell 11/16 to 17 1/2.

-- Martin Thompson (, June 27, 2000

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