California declares Stage 2 power alert

SAN FRANCISCO, July 11, 2002 — The loss of a large generating facility in Southern California late this afternoon, along with an ongoing heat wave forced the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to declare a Stage 2 Electrical Emergency at 3:00 p.m.

In an effort to prevent further electrical emergencies, the CAISO asked all utilities in the state to implement their interruptible programs.

Currently, 121 commercial and industrial customers are voluntarily signed up in the program for a reduction of nearly 400 megawatts.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is also contacting large commercial and industrial customers to voluntarily reduce usage this afternoon. Despite conservation measures, the third day of the heat wave has increased California’s demand for power.

The CAISO declared a Stage 2 emergency as reserves dropped below five percent. The state had already been in a Stage 1 alert, with operating reserves below seven percent earlier in the afternoon. A Stage 3 Electrical Emergency, with reserves below 1.5 percent, did not have to be called.

Temperatures in portions of Northern California are expected to be above normal for the next few days.

On Tuesday, CAISO called a Stage 1 power alert for the first time in 2002.

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