PG&E instructed to implement rotating outages : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

CAISO Directs Pacific Gas and Electric Company to Implement Rotating Outages Due to Record-Breaking Temperatures in Bay Area

Story Filed: Wednesday, June 14, 2000 6:29 PM EST

SAN FRANCISCO, Jun 14, 2000 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The California Independent System Operation (CAISO) has initiated localized electric curtailments in the Bay Area due to record-breaking temperatures and the unavailability of generation. At the direction of the CAISO, Pacific Gas and Electric Company has begun implementing rotating outages throughout the Bay Area in order to maintain electric service to customers that provide essential public safety services, such as hospitals and fire stations.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company began rotating "block" outages in order to meet the CAISO's need for 100 megawatts of relief. A block of customers is equal to approximately 35,000 customers, for 100 megawatts. If the CAISO determines that there is need for additional load shedding, Pacific Gas and Electric Company will cooperate by implementing further outages. Outages for each customer block affected will last for approximately 1-2 hours.

Each Pacific Gas and Electric Company customer's rotating outage block number is shown on their monthly bill. Rotating outage blocks are numbered from 1 through 14. Essential services, such as hospitals, fire departments, police stations, and other vital government functions will not be impacted.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company asks customers to monitor radio and television news to stay abreast of curtailment schedules, which are subject to sudden change.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company urges everyone in Bay Area cities to be very careful during times of power outages. It is possible that traffic lights will not be operating, and congestion on streets could lead to dangerous situations. Pedestrians and motorists are urged to exercise caution.

In areas where service is not being curtailed, the CAISO and Pacific Gas and Electric Company says it is important that customers discontinue all but critical electricity use. Air conditioners should be shut off, the use of washers, dryers and dishwashers postponed, all unnecessary lighting turned off, and any cooking done before noon or after 6 p.m.

Agricultural pumping should be minimized and confined to periods outside the noon to 6 p.m. peak demand time.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company thanks its customers for their cooperation during this curtailment. If customers have specific questions, they can contact the company at 1-800/PGE-5000.

The CAISO is the agency responsible for managing California's power grid. For more information on the CAISO or the electric curtailment program, please visit their website at or call 1-888/516-6397.

For more information about Pacific Gas and Electric Company, please visit our web site,

-- Stuck in an elevator (long@hot.summer), June 14, 2000


No Power in San Jose Rotating Zone 12, sure glad I got a generator, to run my air, refidge, and Lights.......

Y2K, Its more fun than you thought it would be!

-- Its Hot too (, June 14, 2000.

...and just think, in the northern hemisphere, it's not even summer yet!

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), June 14, 2000.

PG&E sucks!

-- Erin Brockovich (corporations@kill.people), June 14, 2000.

"The record peak is 45,884 MW set on July 12, 1999."

Thursday June 15, 10:41 am Eastern Time

Calif. grid operator urges power conservation Thurs.

SAN FRANCISCO, June 15 (Reuters) - The California Independent System Operator, which oversees operation of most of the state's power grid, is urging Californians again to conserve energy useThursday as more record heat bakes Northern California, the agency said late Wednesday.

Temperatures that soared past 100 degrees Fahrenheit and caused heavy use of air conditioning overwhelmed parts of Northern California's power grid Wednesday, with local utilities resorting to rolling blackouts to avoid more widespread outages.

The ISO projected Thursday's peak demand to reach 44,812 megawatts (MW) by late afternoon.

Peak demand Wednesday hit 43,630 MW about 4:00 p.m. PDT, while Tuesday's reached 42,318 MW. The record peak is 45,884 MW set on July 12, 1999.

The ISO declared a ``Stage One'' power alert for all of California Tuesday and Wednesday when it became apparent that earlier pleas for voluntary conservation would not be enough to get through the peak afternoon hours.

A Stage One alert is triggered when power reserves fall below 7 percent of actual load on the grid.

On Wednesday, San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Co. cut off service to homes and businesses in rolling blackouts throughout the Bay Area to ease the load on the system.

About 110,000 customers were affected in San Francisco and the surrounding East and South Bay Area, including Silicon Valley, home to many of the area's high-technology companies.

Pacific Gas and Electric, a unit of PG&E Corp. (NYSE:PCG - news), also cut power to about 75 industrial customers who buy electricity from the utility at a discount, on the understanding their service can be interrupted when supplies run low.

Compounding the problem Wednesday was the loss of several power plants, shut for unscheduled repairs.

Neither the California ISO nor PG&E would confirm which power plants were experiencing problems.

Power traders, however, said the 739 MW Unit 6 at the Moss Landing natural gas-fired plant near Monterey had tripped off line Tuesday, and there was talk that the 325-MW Unit 6 at the Pittsburg natural-gas fired plant nearSan Francisco also was down. Both units serve the Bay Area.which came off Tuesday afternoon.

No information was available Thursday morning on the units' status.

Temperatures were forecast to climb back into the low 100s F in many inland areas Thursday, but sea breezes from the Pacific were expected to bring some relief Friday.

--Spencer Swartz, San Francisco Power Desk, +415 677 2577

-- Stuck in an elevator (long@hot.summer), June 15, 2000.

Yesterday was one of the most unpleasant days I have spent in many years, and the temp was only 103 where I was (north Silicon Valley). AND, I had power and a fan. San Jose was a BLISTERING 109. With the humidity here, it was about the same as 117 in Phoenix. Of course my generator is in Arizona, but luckily my area didn't get hit by the rolling outages, and I have a swimming pool.

-- Flash (flash@flash.hq), June 15, 2000.

"Compounding the problem Wednesday was the loss of several power plants, shut for UNSCHEDULED repairs."

I believe this is a euphemism for UNPLANNED, meaning BROKE. Scheduled maintenance should be long gone by this time of year, in anticipation of peak load.

-- Whatever (, June 15, 2000.

The Third-Worlding of the USA begins (or continues?).

Intentional utility cutoffs are common in many areas of the world such as our esteemed NAFTA partner to the South. Wonder if this will become standard fare here? Which party will make the most political hay over this issue?

Just imagine having to routinely plan much of your life around such events! What fun! Working around power, water and ??? turnoffs. The 21st Century (almost) begins.

-- TheShape (, June 15, 2000.

If people would stop running their swimming pool filter and pool-sweep motors after noon, this might not happen. I discovered that my wife had switched time start time from 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM while I was on a recent trip. Apparently the noise bothered her in the morning. She was oblivious to the realities of the power usage curve. Needless to say I changed the settings back after giving her a lecture which no doubt went in one ear and out the other.

-- Pool Guy (, June 16, 2000.

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