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California Facing Chance of Blackouts Amid Brutal Heat Wave

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Heat Wave Pushes California Power Grid to Its Limits
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Los Angeles (AP) -- California is facing its highest chance of blackouts this year as a brutal heat wave continues to blanket the state with triple-digit temperatures. State energy officials said the electrical load Tuesday afternoon could top 51,000 megawatts, the highest demand the state has ever seen.

As people crank up their air conditioners, the state forecasted record levels of energy use, said Elliot Mainzer, president of California Independent System Operators, which runs the state's electrical grid. The state has additional energy capacity at the moment “but blackouts, rolling, rotating outages are a possibility,” Mainzer said, calling additional conservation “absolutely essential.”