I haven't seen Sean post about this yet, so figured I would.
About 4am this morning I thought about posting something, but
thought the power companies would mysteriously find some extra
power at the last minute again.
California's been getting hit with a nasty storm since yesterday that's
taken out some more major power plants; the CAISO declared a Stage 3
(rolling blackouts all around) power emergency just before 9 AM PST today.
See http://www.caiso.com/SystemStatus.html for pretty graphs.
No rolling blackouts are currently planned, but 15,000 Megawatts
is currently off-line (1/3 of normal capacity). If there are rolling
blackouts, most likely would occur between 4pm and 8pm. CAL-ISO
declared a "Stage 3" emgergency, but called for a reduction of 0MW
(that's a zero) of interruptiable load. So I'm guessing the purpose
of declaring the stage 3 was to activate some other programs, such as
shutting down the water pumps between northern and southern california
again. Something which apparently is only done during a State 3 emergency.
Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is operating at 20% capacity due
to high surf conditions. (http://www.nrc.gov/NRR/DAILY/psr.htm)
Have you test-run your backup generators and transfer switches lately? }:>
Actually, most modern colo's have better emergency/standby power systems
than your typical goverment emergency operations center or hospital. A
simple rolling blackout isn't going to cause problems for most ISPs, colos,
or carriers. A wise ISP might decide to have a "No Touch" period between
4pm and 8pm, and reschedule any electrical work at another time so you
don't create a fault at the same time the utility grid is under stress.
But ISP customers won't notice, or even know, if their ISP does this.
The NRC and DOE found the best schedule for testing generators and transfer
switches isn't necessarily the one everyone uses.