July 24, 2006

California calls Stage 1 power emergency

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The state power grid is strained to
the point that the California Independent System Operator (ISO)
called on Monday a "Stage 1' power emergency, a warning that
without conservation, rolling blackouts are likely.

The Cal ISO, which transmits about 80 percent of the
state's power supply, on Monday forecast yet another day of
record demand, to peak in the afternoon at more than 52,000
megawatts. That is more than 10,000 megawatts higher than the
peak during the 2000-2001 energy crisis.

A check with major utilities on Monday showed about 100,000
customers without power, down from more than 1 million homes
and businesses over the weekend.