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Statewide power outages possible as imports decline

Thursday, May 31, 2001, 2001 Associated Press


(05-31) 14:33 PDT SACRAMENTO (AP) --

The state's grid manager warned Thursday that statewide power outages could be necessary beginning this afternoon because of high temperatures and low imports of electricity from other states.

The rolling blackouts could be wider than the San Francisco Bay area outages the Independent System Operator said were possible earlier Thursday. ISO spokeswoman Stephanie McCorkle said the outages could be avoided or minimized if consumers cut their electricity use.

Pacific Gas and Electric spokesman Ron Low said the utility was able to reroute electricity to the Bay Area Thursday to avoid a repeat of the isolated outages the region experienced last June. McCorkle said five power plants are off-line in the region, including one that went down Thursday morning.

PG&E said it lacked about 1,200 megawatts of electricity it usually would have had. In addition, usage was up about 500 megawatts because of higher temperatures there, McCorkle said.

Separately, power went out about 12:30 p.m. Thursday to about 6,000 PG&E customers in parts of the Western Addition and Lower Heights area to an equipment problem. The ISO declared a Stage 2 statewide power alert Thursday as electricity reserves dropped below 5 percent.

On the Net:

The California Independent System Operator:

2001 Associated Press

-- Swissrose (, May 31, 2001

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