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State Remains on Alert for Power Outages

THE CALIFORNIA ENERGY CRISIS

January 29, 2001|Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — California remained under an alert for possible power shortages Sunday, but grid managers made it through the Super Bowl without fumbling.

The Independent System Operator, manager of most of the state's power grid, had declared a Stage 3 alert through the weekend, meaning electricity reserves were dangerously low and blackouts were possible.

On Sunday, the 13th straight day the state faced a Stage 3 alert, power managers had urged Californians to watch the Super Bowl in groups to help conserve electricity.

The power stayed on as the Baltimore Ravens defeated the New York Giants, 34-7.

Blackouts lasting about two hours hit nearly 2 million homes and businesses in Northern and Central California on Jan. 17 and 18. Last Sunday, a power surge in Oregon caused a 20-minute outage affecting about 75,000 Northern California customers.

State legislators continued discussions Sunday on two bills that deal with the financial problems of the state's biggest utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison.

The two companies say they have lost $12 billion because they have paid sharply increased prices for wholesale electricity while the state limits what they can charge their customers for that power.

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