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Blackouts Avoided

SACRAMENTO — Rolling blackouts will not be enacted Monday night as California officials lifted a Stage 2 energy emergency about 4.5 hours after putting it into place, the California Independent System Operator said.

The declaration was lifted as lower energy demand and conservation efforts lessened the strain on the state's electrical grid.

California ISO, which monitors the state’s electricity needs and power grid capabilities, issued the Stage 2 Emergency around 3:30 p.m. Monday, saying there is a resource deficiency.

However, as the evening progressed, California ISO said conservation efforts increased.

"New numbers on tonight's expected outages: #ISO forecasts no load shedding ordered from 6-7 pm; from 7-8 pm, 712 MW; from 8-9 pm, 650 MW. Lower temps and #conservation bring down demand. #FlexAlert to 10 pm," the agency tweeted around 6:30 p.m.

Just before 8 p.m., California ISO lifted the emergency, saying "Thank you for conserving."

A Stage 2 Emergency is declared after “ISO has taken all mitigating actions and is no longer able to provide its expected energy requirements.” California ISO said this requires the agency to intervene in the market, such as ordering power plants online.

When a Stage 3 Energy Emergency is declared, rolling blackouts are ordered, California ISO said.

Pacific Gas & Electric said earlier in the day, the rotating outages are likely based on current energy supply and demand.

"Rotating outages (Stage 3 Emergencies) become necessary when the CAISO is unable to meet minimum contingency reserve requirements and load interruption is imminent or in progress," PG&E said in a statement. "These emergencies are declared by the CAISO. During these emergencies, the CAISO will typically order the state's utilities, including PG&E, to reduce electric load by turning off service immediately to prevent larger outages on the grid."

The California ISO issued a Flex Alert through Wednesday, urging Californians to voluntarily conserve electricity between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

California ISO said Sunday that residents should prepare for rolling blackouts through Wednesday because extreme triple-digit heat is in the forecast for the next several days.

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