IEC warns of blackouts

Customers asked to divert use of appliances during peak hours.

By GLOBES’ CORRESPONDENT
July 24, 2011 23:25
1 minute read.
[illustrative photo]

Light bulb 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Ina Fassbender)

 
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The Israel Electric Corporation has warned of blackouts as the heat wave sparks a spike in demand for electricity.

The utility warns that the paucity of its production capacity reserves is liable to force it to make rolling blackouts around the country.

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It is asking customers to divert use of appliances during peak hours (noon through 5 p.m. on weekdays) to off-peak hours in the early morning or late evening.

The IEC estimated that electricity demand would reach 10,850 megawatts on Sunday, and that its production reserves would dwindle to only 600 megawatts.

Demand could exceed 11,000 megawatts later this week. Last summer’s peak demand reached 10,530 megawatts.

Production systems were prepared to handle high demand of 11,800 megawatts Sunday, despite two breakdowns amounting to 400 megawatts, which are under repair, the IEC said. It added that it is permitted to generate only 10,800 megawatts, and that it is waiting for permission from the relevant ministries to boost production.

Normal procedure to keep the grid stable in times of low reserves and a heat wave that will boost demand is wise electricity use by consumers, the corporation said.

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