New York Poised to Close Last Coal-fire Power Plant

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Industry News

California Releases 2002 Power Forecast

LCG, Nov. 21, 2001--The California Energy Commission yesterday afternoon released its electricity supply and demand forecast for 2002, saying that while it assumes that the market will function normally, price spikes continue to be a concern if electricity supplies are tight.

California avoided rolling blackouts this past summer -- by the skin of its teeth. Despite predictions of day after day of summer power outages, no load shedding took place after May 8. The commission gives full credit for this to conservation efforts by consumers and businesses, but the major credit should go to a benign mother nature, who provided a much cooler than normal summer, with commensurate reduction in air-conditioning use.

The commission is pinning its hopes for next summer on continuing conservation, but has not made arrangements for another cool summer. It said if summer 2002 conservation efforts stay the same or decline only moderately, the state should have adequate electricity supplies to meet demand.

The Energy Commission projects a supply surplus of approximately 340 megawatts including new generation of 4,000 megawatts expected on line by July 2002. In an emergency declared by the California Independent System Operator, there are also an additional 1,700 megawatts of electricity that could be available from large users participating in interruptible/emergency demand responsive programs.

The commission noted that twelve new power plants, including ten simple cycle units, added 2,100 megawatts of new generation to the State's electricity system this year, but does not mention that the total represented only 42 percent of the 5,000 megawatts of new generation Gov. Gray Davis had "guaranteed" would be on-line by July 1.

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