… The state only avoided blackouts Monday because every available power plant, including some not usually in service, ran at full capacity and residents curtailed their energy use, according to the California Independent System Operator. And about 1 p.m., state officials declared a Stage 2 power emergency, requiring some companies to switch off the power grid and fire up their own generators.
Power demand peaked midafternoon at 50,270 megawatts statewide — up about 8 percent from just a week ago and more than 20 percent above the level seen during the 2000-2001 power crisis. Demand is expected to exceed 50,000 megawatts again today, just 2,000 megawatts less than the load that wasn’t expected until 2011.
“This is really incredible,” said Gregg Fishman, a spokesman for the state grid operator. – sjmn