California site traces power

California site traces power

Will California run out of electricity today? A Web page at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows how the state's electrical supply and demand fluctuate daily.

Energy Chart
The site, at energycrisis.lbl.gov, charts current and predicted electrical loads, maximum power capacity, and exports and imports of electricity. The site went live in April and updates every 10 minutes.

Alan K. Meier, a Berkeley lab energy analyst, said he got the idea for the page in March because the state's own site showed only the demand side of the complicated power situation. Since then, the California Independent System Operator's page, at www.caiso.com, has improved, but it still doesn't present the supply-demand balance graphically, Meier said.

Several of Meier's colleagues developed the page using Perl scripts and screen-scraping techniques that pull data from multiple Web sources.

'P. Daukantas

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