This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 04, 2003

California Power Outlook Positive Despite First Power Alert

The California Energy Commission (CEC) released its summer power forecast on May 25th, indicating that the state's power supplies should be adequate to meet summer peak demand, even with a hotter-than-normal summer. The CEC credited 7,730 megawatts of new generation added since the power crisis of 2000 and 2001. See the CEC press release.

Following the CEC announcement, the California Independent System Operator (ISO)-the organization responsible for operating the state's power grid-joined a number of California utilities and state agencies on May 27th to launch this summer's energy conservation campaign. Despite the CEC's forecast, the group still emphasized the importance of energy conservation, noting that high electricity use could draw down the state's stores of natural gas, potentially impacting this summer's and next winter's natural gas prices. See the California ISO press release (PDF 55 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

Ironically, the state's conservation message was driven home the very next day, when the California ISO declared a Stage One electrical emergency due to unseasonably high temperatures in the state. At 3 p.m., the ISO asked consumers to avoid using large electrical appliances until after 7 p.m. Although a dip in operating reserves led to the power emergency, the state did not reach the higher alert levels associated with possible power blackouts. See the California ISO press release (PDF 23 KB).

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