Will California have enough power?

The answer is maybe. California should have enough power to keep the lights on and air conditioners humming this summer, although there likely will be days—especially in Southern California—when conservation and voluntary demand response programs will be called on to ease the strain on the power grid, according to the California Independent System Operator Corp.

06/01/2008


The answer is maybe.

California should have enough power to keep the lights on and air conditioners humming this summer, although there likely will be days—especially in Southern California—when conservation and voluntary demand response programs will be called on to ease the strain on the power grid, according to the California Independent System Operator Corp. (Cal-ISO) annual Summer Assessment.

However, Cal-ISO officials indicate that the risk of blackouts in Southern California during the hottest days this summer is more than three times that of previous years because increased power capacity is not keeping up with demand.

The likelihood of a stage 3 emergency, when reserves dip below 3% and power is cut to some customers to prevent a system collapse, rose to 10% for Southern California from 3% in last year's forecast, Cal-ISO reported.

According to the report, the state will have 489 MW of new generation in time for peak demand in July or August, some replacing a retired 122-MW plant. Southern California will need to rely on imports from Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico, as well as conservation, to avoid blackouts.

Demand probably will increase by 1,000 MW this year over last year, Cal-ISO Chief Executive Yakout Mansour.





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