Forecast doubles California power prices : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Forecast doubles power prices

May 19, 2001

By BRADLEY KEOUN Bloomberg News

FOLSOM California wholesale power prices doubled Friday, the biggest gain since Dec. 8, on concern that hot weather next week may strain the state's generating capacity and lead to another string of blackouts.

Temperatures across the state may be as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit above normal Monday and Tuesday, according to A heat wave last week caused two days of rolling blackouts, cutting power to homeowners, interrupting businesses and causing traffic snarls. State power officials say blackouts may be commonplace this summer.

"California is getting pretty warm, and that's boosting the air-conditioning load," said Ken Sims, an energy trader at Santa Clara, California-based Silicon Valley Power. "It's going to be over 100 in California's Central Valley, and the Bay area is probably going to hit the low 90s."

Peak power for delivery Sunday and Monday at the California-Oregon border rose $182.40, or 112 percent, to $345 a megawatt-hour in over-the-counter trading, according to Bloomberg Energy Service.

The heat wave would come at a time when many of the state's power plants have been shut down for annual repairs or because of unplanned failures. About a fifth of the state's generating capacity was out of service as of Friday, state power officials said.

Hydropower from the Northwest is expected to be limited this summer because reservoir levels are close to 50-year lows.

-- Martin Thompson (, May 19, 2001


I don't understand how the CA ratepayers can be so nonchalant about this. Why haven't I read anything about how upset CA taxpayers are? Its like the state bureaucrats have taken a voodoo doll that represents CA citizens and are turning it upside down to shake the money out of the pockets. All of which is due to the politicians ineptitude and there "vision" to legislate away any protection for the ratepayers and now the taxpayers. At the very least there should be a humongous ongoing Boston Tea Party. But other than Geno-CA, nobody seems to be too upset. Why???????????????????????

-- Guy Daley (, May 19, 2001.

Us CA types hear lots of doom, but we don't get upset till we have to reach for our wallets. Governor Gray has "hidden" the huge increases for the time being by using TAX $ to subsidize the costs. When the real costs show up in our electric bills, then CA will get excited.... Next months bill is to be a whopper, lets see IF CA screams then.....

-- Helium (, May 19, 2001.

I am a California taxpayer and I am REAL upset over all of this. The impact (actual big jump in electricity prices at the consumer level) hasn't been felt yet, though there are more and more gripes about the high prices at gasoline pumps.

After long Rip Van Winkle sleep periods, traditionally, eruptions occur all at once, over a relatively short period of time. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a Boston Tea Party kind of response yet.

-- JackW (, May 19, 2001.

The first screams are coming from the legislature. The Dems want to spend and the Reps want to refund taxes. Davis cut out a couple Bil from his budget and that still wasn't enough. We aren't even to June yet. There will be lots of howling in Sacto when everybody realizes how much has to be recaptured somehow.

As for us pvt citizens, I agree we don't usually notice until we get hit in the wallet. The tax bill won't be felt until yearend for most individuals, and the electric bill wasn't felt until the PUC passed that increase. I really didn't pay much attention to our little problem until my heating bills soared last winter, and when we got the first blackouts in January. I think most people just get busy and take things for granted until something affects them personally.

-- Margaret J (, May 19, 2001.

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