Cal ISO - STAGE 2 EMERGENCY NOTICE - Effective 08/02/2000 at 12:00greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
STAGE 2 EMERGENCY NOTICE 
Effective 08/02/2000 at 12:00 the California Independent System Operator is implementing Stage 2 of the Electrical Emergency Plan. The Plan has been implemented for the following reason(s):
Anticipated high loads and temperatures across the ISO Control Area.
Stage 2 is expected to be in effect from Hour Ending 13 through Hour Ending 20.
Participating transmission owners are to notify the Utility Distribution Companies within their operational areas.
Stage 2: Operating reserves are expected to fall below 5%. The UDC will implement interruptible service programs AS DIRECTED BY THE ISO and will take all additional actions necessary in preparation for immediate implementation of electrical emergency plans and await further orders from the ISO.
This message is from Market Operations at the California ISO.
Notice issued at: 08/02/2000 11:07
-- PHO (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 02, 2000
Please read the last 4 paragraphs:
Electric power play State's buyers cut top price they'll pay
August 2, 2000
By DANIEL M. WEINTRAUB The Orange County Register From Folsom
Managers of California's electricity grid voted Tuesday to cut in half the maximum price they'll pay for advance purchases of wholesale power, a move aimed at reducing the spiraling electric bills of residents and businesses in Orange and San Diego counties.
But it is uncertain how much the price cut might be at the retail level and when consumers would see it. And some power generators say that Tuesday's action might even lead to shortages, blackouts and, ultimately, higher prices.
"You need to act," state Sen. Steve Peace told board members of the Independent System Operator, a nonprofit agency that runs the power grid and purchases electricity on behalf of utilities that run short.
"You need to stop submitting to what I think is nothing more than blackmail."
Peace, Gov. Gray Davis and others were angry that private power generators selling electricity in the wholesale market have driven prices skyward to take advantage of tight markets and the state's decision to step away from regulating rates.
Peace maintains that the high prices are the product of a broken market and possibly illegal. He is pushing state and federal officials to investigate and, if necessary, order refunds to consumers who were overcharged.
But some say that new power plants, not price controls, are the only thing that can save Orange County and San Diego County residents from more price increases like those that already have doubled rates.
Jan Smutny-Jones, ISO board chairman and a representative of the Independent Energy Producers, said suppliers need to build more capacity, and users need to conserve more when supplies are short.
"We are stretching the market to its limits," he said. "We need to get busy."
Jan Strack, an official with San Diego Gas & Electric, said he couldn't predict what the rate cap might mean for customers in the months ahead. But he said the cap, had it been in effect in June and July, would have saved the company 37 percent on electricity and would have saved customers a total of $99 million.
The board voted to reduce the rate cap from $500 per megawatt hour to $250.
The cut's effects are difficult to predict because the rate cap applies only to contracts for power signed before the day electricity is needed.
If the state is short of power on any given day and the ISO has to search the Western region to fill the gap, the price will continue to be whatever the market will bear.
The rate cap could lead to higher prices for consumers if energy producers sell their power contracts to out-of-state companies, which would then sell power to California utilities when power is short, usage is surging, and the rate cap doesn't apply.
In that case, said consumer activist Michael Shames, "All bets are off. They need to keep the lights on."
-- PHO (email@example.com), August 02, 2000.