Cal-ISO Directs SCE to Curtail "Load" for Some Customers

March 27, 2001

March 27, 2001

ROSEMEAD, Calif., March 27, 2001--After the sudden loss of approximately 1,100 megawatts (MW) of imported power from the Pacific Northwest, the California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO) today called upon Southern California Edison and other investor-owned utilities to begin voluntary "load" curtailment programs for certain customers within their service areas.

With more than 10,000 MW of generation unavailable due to maintenance or repairs Tuesday and small generators representing nearly 3,000 MW of generation offline, Cal-ISO and SCE are making urgent appeals for all customers to immediately reduce their electricity consumption during the Stage 2 Emergency, declared shortly before 2 p.m. and in effect until 10 p.m.

Cal-ISO, the nonprofit agency that manages 75% of California's transmission electrical grid and secures power supplies for most of the state's consumers, directed SCE to request customers in its voluntary load curtailment program, representing more than 1,351 MW--enough power to serve approximately 1.3 million homes--to reduce electrical usage.

To achieve load reduction during a Stage 2 Emergency, SCE activates its voluntary load curtailment program, under which large industrial, commercial, and agricultural customers have agreed to temporarily curtail electricity usage during electrical emergencies in exchange for reduced rates.

Should the situation worsen for any reason, and power reserves drop below 1.5%, Cal-ISO could declare a Stage 3 Emergency. Cal-ISO could direct utilities to "drop load," necessitating involuntary rotating circuit outages for groups of customers across their service areas until sufficient reserve levels are achieved.

SCE customers are asked to reduce power consumption by turning off any unneeded electrical appliances and lights, especially during the state's daily peak consumption period--5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 11 million via 4.3 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.