California hopes to avoid outages again during heat wave, prices hit records
(Reuters) – Power prices in the U.S. West soared to record highs for a second day during a brutal heat wave as California utilities urged consumers to keep conserving energy to avoid more rotating outages with demand expected to hit an all-time high on Tuesday.
On Friday and Saturday, the California ISO, which operates the grid for most of the state, ordered utilities to start rotating outages that left more than 400,000 homes and businesses sweltering for about an hour each as air conditioning demand outstripped available generation resources.
On Monday, the ISO told utilities to prepare for more rotating outages but never issued the order because the weather moderated and consumers voluntarily cut their power use enough to reduce the strain on the grid.
The last time the ISO told utilities to impose rotating outages before this weekend was in 2001 when several energy companies manipulated the power market to cause prices to spike and electric supplies to run artificially short.