FOLSOM, Calif., Jan. 22, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE)—According to the California Independent System Operator (California ISO), rotating blackouts have not been ordered but they weren’t ruled out for Monday.

A Stage Three Electrical Emergency, initially declared Saturday, has been extended to remain in effect until midnight tonight.

The Stage Three declaration enables the California ISO to receive additional emergency assistance from federal and state agencies. Conservation efforts are being recognized on the state’s electrical system and are helping to lessen the severity and duration of outages. All Californians were urged to rededicate their efforts to save as much energy as possible.

The total number of units off line due to planned and unplanned outages is 7,600 megawatts.

While this is a great improvement from last week’s 10,500 megawatts, the returned units are located in the southern portion of the state and of little benefit to the north. Once again, Path 15, the state’s main transmission north-south artery is congested and unable to deliver the power to Northern California where it is so desperately needed.

Monday’s forecasted peak demand was 32,187 megawatts at approximately 6:00 p.m. Stage One and Stage Two emergencies were also extended from Saturday and remained in effect until midnight.

Stage Three of the state’s Electrical Emergency Plan (EEP) is required when operating reserves fall below one-and-a-half percent. The California ISO’s EEP is part of the state’s enhanced reliability standards created by landmark legislation Assembly Bill 1890, which restructured California’s electricity industry.

California ISO is charged with managing the flow of electricity along the long-distance, high-voltage power lines that make up the bulk of California’s transmission system.

The not-for-profit public-benefit corporation assumed the responsibility in March, 1998, when California opened its energy markets to competition and the state’s investor-owned utilities turned their private transmission power lines over to the California ISO to manage. The mission of the California ISO is to safeguard the reliable delivery of electricity, facilitate markets and ensure equal access to a 12,500 circuit mile “electron highway.”

Information about the California ISO control area’s electricity supply and the current demand is available on the web at www.caiso.com.