SACRAMENTO — The California Power Authority announced a program Tuesday to pay large industrial power users to cut consumption. Those customers will be paid less than the cost for actual electricity.
The program has several advantages over building new power plants, said Power Authority Chief Executive Laura Doll, and companies won't have to shut down completely to meet their obligation.
The program will rely on satellite technology and real-time electric meters to dim air conditioners or lights automatically when the state's power buyers call on the companies.
"This is cheaper, and it's quicker," said S. David Freeman, chairman of the California Power Authority.
The Power Authority estimates the program will cost $7 million this year, and will be able to call on as much as 250 megawatts of energy. One megawatt is approximately enough energy to operate 750 homes.