SACRAMENTO �8.29.07 Electricity demand in California surged past forecasts Tuesday, setting a new peak for the summer and prompting calls for conservation as a heat wave was expected to push demand near all-time record highs on Wednesday and Thursday. “We set a new peak today and we’ll blow through that record pretty quick tomorrow,” said Gregg Fishman, spokesman for Cal-ISO, which manages most of the state’s electricity grid. “We know it’s going to be hot, the question is how hot and how much of the state’s coastal population centers will be hit.” Demand peaked on Tuesday afternoon at 45,888 megawatts � nearly 1,000 megawatts higher than expected. But state officials are hoping that, with calls for conservation, Wednesday’s predicted peak demand of 47,275 megawatts and Thursday’s forecast for 47,667 megawatts will not creep higher than anticipated. California’s all-time record energy demand is 50,270 megawatts. It was set last year during a two-week heat wave blamed for hundreds of deaths. Read more

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