Calif. Asks Consumers to
LOS ANGELES, - Forecasts for the hottest weather of the year led the California power grid operator on Tuesday to call for voluntary cutbacks in electricity use during Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, the Cal ISO said.
The request to conserve is expected to remain voluntary through the heat wave and high air-conditioning use that is to last until Thursday, said Cal ISO's Stephanie McCorkle.
While much of the state will still be scorched on Friday and during the weekend, power use is not as high on those days and the ISO is not calling for voluntary cutbacks for them, McCorkle said.
Consumers are being asked to curb their power use from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.
McCorkle said the ISO system -- which handles about 80 percent of the power that flows in California -- is expected to handle the high demand without blackouts or brownouts.
"This is cautionary," said McCorkle. "If you can, if it's convenient, watch your electricity use during the air conditioning rush hour on Wednesday and Thursday.
"It is not urgent," she said.
Power demand is expected to slip along during the weekly drop-off of power use on Fridays, McCorkle said.
Peak power demand is expected to reach peak demand highs for 2007 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Thursday's peak demand is forecast at 47,700 megawatts, Wednesday's at 47,275 megawatts, and Tuesday's at 44,900 megawatts, the Cal ISO said.
This is far short of the record of 50,270 megawatts set July 24, 2006 during a record heat storm that set high temperatures throughout the state. Dozens of deaths were linked to the extreme heat last year.
In California, on a yearly average, a megawatt can serve about 650 to 700 homes.
The state's biggest city, Los Angeles, is to have a high of 97 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday but it will fell like it is 107 F, according to forecaster AccuWeather. Los Angeles normally has a high of 84 F this time of year.
Los Angeles highs will be 97 F (feeling like 105 F) on Thursday and 93 F on Friday, AccuWeather said.
The forecaster said high temperatures are expected to reach 102 F in Sacramento on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. In Sacramento, the normal high is 90 F.
In Fresno in the state's Central Valley, highs are to be 106 F on Wednesday, and 108 F on Thursday and Friday. The normal high in Fresno is 93 F.
In the Inland Empire east of Los Angeles, cities like Riverside will have highs of 104 F three days.
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