In the wake of an ongoing heat wave, segments of the population experienced
power outages on Thursday afternoon, as the Israel Electric Corporation’s online
power meter dwindled down to a cautionary “orange.”
All through the
afternoon on Thursday, the battery meter on the upper-left corner of the IEC’s
website dropped to orange level, indicating that the “extent of the demand is
almost reaching the electricity production limit and power outages are likely to
occur,” according to the company.
At roughly the same time, communities
around the country complained of power failures, due to a glitch in the system
of the Rotenberg Power Station in Ashkelon.
The day before, the IEC had
warned that over the next week’s heatwave – in which the heat index is expected
to reach 46 degrees Celsius around the country – forced power outages might have
to occur intermittently. As temperatures surge, the company predicted that
electricity demand would reach about 11,500 megawatts on some days, forcing
planned blackouts to balance out the system. To help cope with the expected
strain on the country’s electricity supply, the company asked the public to
refrain from using appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, ovens,
electric cookers and vacuum cleaners between 12 and 5 p.m., and recommended
setting air conditioners above 25 degrees Celsius.
The power outages that
occurred around the country due to the failure at the Rotenberg Power Station –
which has a unit capacity of 575 megawatts – were not, however, due to planned
blackouts but instead were the result of a technical glitch in the production
system, the IEC stressed.
Within 25 minutes, power was restored to all
places, the company said.
Representatives from the Energy and Water
Ministry – minister Uzi Landau and director-general Shaul Zemach – and from the
IEC – chairman Yiftach Ron-Tal and CEO Eli Glickman – held a press conference on
Thursday morning in Tel Aviv to update the public on the IEC’s preparedness for
dealing with the summer’s low power reserves.
At the meeting, the
officials once again called upon the public to cooperate with the company’s
request to reduce electricity demand during peak hours.
By about 5 p.m.,
the IEC’s online battery meter had risen back up from orange to green,
indicating that the system could relax for the day.
While the color green
indicates that electricity supply is steady and operating as normal, yellow
shows that the extent of the demand is approaching the limit of electricity
production capabilities – and that the IEC is acting to balance the system,
according to the company.
Orange, the level of the battery throughout
Thursday afternoon, is a much more serious condition and requires the company to
update the public in advance of reaching that level.
Red, which was not
reached on Thursday, indicates that the electricity demand is higher than the
electricity production capability, and power shortages are occurring in
“At this stage cooperation of the public is required, in
order to return the system to balance and stable activity,” IEC information
In addition to encouraging the public to conserve energy during
this period of heatwave, the IEC reminded residents to check the company’s
website and communicate with its representatives on its Facebook page about all
problems as they occur.
Jerusalem Post Annual Conference. Buy it now, Special offer. Come meet Israel's top leaders