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Officials Declare Moderate Power Emergency

August 15, 2000|NANCY RIVERA BROOKS

The California Independent System Operator declared a moderate Stage 2 electricity emergency Monday and ordered Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to interrupt power to some large commercial and industrial electricity users, residential air-conditioner customers and agricultural pumping operations that had agreed to reduce consumption when supplies are tight in exchange for lower rates.

Edison customers reduced consumption by 1,200 megawatts and SDG&E by 40 megawatts, in all representing enough energy to power about 1.24 million homes. Cal-ISO declares a Stage 2 emergency when electricity reserves fall below 5% in the state. That is a step short of Stage 3--and rolling blackouts in local neighborhoods--which would be declared when reserves fall below 1.5%.

Electricity use peaked at more than 42,000 megawatts on Monday afternoon. Supplies are projected to be short again today, and utility officials urged electricity customers to conserve energy.

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