Next Areas Slated for Rotating Outages : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Next Areas Slated for Rotating Outages Pacific Gas & Electric PG&E has not released updated information on the next areas scheduled for outages.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District All of Mather Airport, Including the business park. Parts of Rancho Cordova northeast of Mather.

Modesto Irrigation District Downtown Modesto, from Needham to Tuolumne Boulevard and from Burney to Franklin

-- Martin Thompson (, March 19, 2001


Rotating Blackouts in Progress as Power Shortage Reaches Crisis Levels

After several weeks of relative quiet, California's power problems are again making themselves painfully obvious in the form of rotating blackouts.

The California ISO declared a Stage Three power alert shortly before noon today. Shortly thereafter, officials began to implement rotating blackouts. The state's two largest utilities expect to interrupt power to about one million customers statewide, in order to reduce system load by 1,000 megawatts.

ISO officials predict that rotating blackouts will continue until about 9:00 p.m. tonight, reaching a peak of about 1.2 million customers at 5:00 p.m. They warn that without stringent conservation, additional blackouts could become necessary in the days to come.

In the Sacramento area, blackouts are currently in progress at Mather Airport and portions of Rancho Cordova northeast of Mather. In Modesto, an area from Empire to Waterford and from Milnes to the Tuolumne River is now without power. Outages have already occurred in parts of Fair Oaks, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Orangevale, Rancho Cordova, Rosemont and a large unincorporated area in the eastern part of Sacramento County south of Folsom and north of Rancho Murieta. Several parts of Modesto were also without power earlier today.

Power officials say the outages became necessary after two large California power plants were taken off-line for maintenance. Other plants voluntarily shut down because their operators haven't been paid in months.

The Bay Area has also been heavily affected by the blackouts. Ironically, when portions of downtown San Francisco lost power, the lights went out at the offices of the Public Utilities Commission. The PUC is charged with regulating the state's utility companies. Commissioners and the staff at the PUC were forced to work by flashlight during the outage. Other Bay Area communities hit include San Jose, Oakland, Palo Alto, Campbell, Mountain View, Menlo Park, Newark, Walnut Creek, Dublin, Hayward, San Ramon, Antioch, Discovery Bay, Salinas, Carmel Valley, King City, Gonzales, and parts of Marin County.

In Southern California, outages have occurred in Ventura, Orange, Riverside, Pomona, Chino, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Visalia, Banning, Kern, Santa Monica, Arcadia, Inglewood, Bishop, Beaumont, Temple City, Oceanside, Rancho Bernardo, Carlsbad, La Jolla, Escondido and Vista. The desert community of Twentynine Palms has already had two blackouts covering the same area.

Story updated March 19, 2001 - 3:43 pm

-- Martin Thompson (, March 19, 2001.

Hi martin, Gosh, just wanting to ramble a bit here is that alright? :) Ok, I went to my parents today and found out about the rolling black/brownouts going on in calif from them,, it was on news they said and also added that the midwest was going to have to sell to california of their surplus!!! Now here i am..havent' been in here in over a week and that's what i get for being gone from here.. Take care, Tess

-- Tess (, March 19, 2001.

Stage 3 Alert Delcared, Rolling Blackouts Ordered

From Associated Press

SACRAMENTO--The managers of the state power grid issued a Stage 3 alert today and ordered rolling blackouts for the first time since January, from Beverly Hills to Northern California. The California Independent System Operator, blaming higher demand and a lack of electricity from the Northwest, ordered the state's two biggest utilities to cut a total of 500 megawatts, enough power for roughly 500,000 homes. Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison together serve 8.7 million customers across the state. The outages were split between Northern and Southern California, said ISO spokeswoman Stephanie McCorkle. SoCal Edison ordered blackouts in the Los Angeles-area cities of Chino, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Visalia, Banning, Kern and Santa Monica, spokesman Tom Boyd said. The outages were scheduled to last up to an hour. PG&E spokesman Ron Low said the San Francisco-based utility was ordered to cut 196 megawatts for one hour at noon. He said it would affect about 105,000 customers, but did not specify which communities were being hit. The power grid last ordered rolling blackouts Jan. 17 and 18 across Northern California, affecting more than 675,000 homes and businesses for more than two hours at a time. Hospitals and airports were exempt. Power alerts were lifted in February, thanks more imported electricity and the return of power plants that had been down for repairs. But California is anticipating a summer of power shortages and the possibility of rolling blackouts. Natural gas supplies are tight, water supplies are down and a heat wave could drive up demand for power. The state's peak demand for power is expected to exceed supplies from May through September, according to the ISO. The projected deficit will range from 3,030 megawatts in May to as high as 6,815 megawatts in June. It takes about 1,000 megawatts to power 1 million homes. California has struggled with power problems for months. The problems have been blamed on high power costs to the state's 1996 law which in part deregulated the industry. SoCal Edison and PG&E say they have lost $13 billion since last year because of high wholesale electricity costs. Energy wholesalers have been reluctant to provide power for fear of not being repaid. Gov. Gray Davis' administration has committed $2.7 billion-- about $45 million a day-- for power purchases. That will be repaid when the state issues an estimated $10 billion in revenue bonds in May approved for cheaper, long-term power contracts. Legislators also have been working on bills intended to result in more power plants in the state.

-- Carl Jenkins (, March 19, 2001.


I don't think you have to worry about the midwest selling extra power to California. The transmission lines don't run across the rockies.

Glad to see you back


-- Martin Thompson (, March 19, 2001.

Actually the US electric grid is broken up
into three groups:
NERC has identified a large number of Year 2000-related risk factors that may impact the operation of electric power systems. The internal risk factors include generator outages, constrained operation of nuclear power plants, partial loss of EMS/SCADA systems, loss of portions of company-owned data and voice communications, and a failure of environmental control systems. According to the assumptions suggested by NERC for contingency planning purposes

from the GAO Year 2000 COMPUTING CRISIS
April 1999

-- spider (, March 19, 2001.

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