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Energy supply tested by heat

Temperatures in western Nevada County and throughout Northern California will continue to test the ability of California’s public utilities to keep the power flowing through the weekend, an area forecaster predicted Thursday.

“The really warm weather will peak through Sunday-Monday, and then Tuesday-Wednesday, the temperature should drop a little bit,” said Harry Stockman, president of the Qwikcast.com weather service in Roseville.

Stockman expects temperatures in the Grass Valley-Nevada City area to stay in the 88- to 90-degree range through Monday, then ease off into the mid-80s Tuesday and Wednesday. In the valley, temperatures will get into the 100s before dropping back to the mid-90s.



“We’re talking about continued, very warm weather throughout the West,” he said.

“There’s no cooling headed in this direction.”




That’s not good news for the state Independent System Operator, which manages much of California’s power grid and has seen electricity consumption set new records in recent days.

Californians consumed 44,360 megawatts of power Wednesday – a new record – but the ISO expected demand to drop to 43,074 megawatts Thursday.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. lost 1,100 megawatts of power – enough to power 825,000 homes – when it had to shut down one of two units Thursday at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County because of a cracked water pipe.

Lisa Randle, a spokeswoman for PG&E, said no power outages were reported in western Nevada County as of 2 p.m. Thursday. Almost 4,000 customers in the Lake of Pines and Lime Kiln Road areas lost power at different times Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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