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California Weathers Power Emergency

August 01, 2000|Nancy Rivera Brooks

High temperatures sent power usage to near-record levels, straining California's electricity grid and prompting the California Independent System Operator to declare a Stage Two emergency. A Stage Two emergency is declared when operating reserves fall below 5%. The state's investor-owned utilities are asked to cut power to customers who have signed up for that option in exchange for lower rates. Cal-ISO, the nonprofit that operates the power grid serving about 75% of state electricity users, is predicting record energy demand of more than 46,245 megawatts today and said conservation is "critical" to avoid "severe curtailment measures." If operating reserves fall below 1.5%, a Stage Three emergency is declared and rolling blackouts become probable.

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