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BRUTAL WINTER WEATHER, NECESSARY UNIT MAINTENANCE, LEAD TO DECLARATION OF ELECTRICITY SUPPLY EMERGENCY

 TAMPA, Fla., March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Florida Electric Power Coordinating Group, Inc. (FCG), an association of 37 of Florida's electric utilities, today declared an Electricity Supply Emergency for Monday, March 15.
 Two factors are contributing to the electricity supply problems. The first is unseasonably cold weather that is breaking records statewide, along with high winds and flooding. The second factor is that a significant portion of state generating capacity is unavailable due to scheduled maintenance and forced outages.
 The Supply Emergency has been called as specified in the Generating Capacity Shortage Plan, a statewide system to coordinate electricity and information exchange during times of supply shortages.
 The Emergency is initiated because short-term rolling blackouts are expected on some utility systems in the state, including Florida Power & Light Company. Rolling blackouts, manually activated by utilities, are a last resort to avoid equipment damage and longer outages.
 Under the Shortage Plan, action and information are being coordinated among utilities, emergency agencies, the governor and the Public Service Commission. If conditions worsen significantly, the Division of Emergency Management would consider using the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) to communicate with the public.
 Although the state system is set up to give consumers advance warnings, there can be circumstances where blackouts occur suddenly without the opportunity to issue warnings.
 When the power goes out during rolling blackouts, consumers should immediately turn off major appliances and heating systems. Once power is restored, appliances and heat can be turned on gradually as needed.
 Electric supply is extremely weather sensitive, and drops in temperature can increase demand for electricity significantly. Therefore, utilities are urging customers to limit non-essential use of power.
 Updates will be provided if conditions change drastically.
 -0- 3/13/93
 /CONTACT: Ron Spinka of FCG, 813-289-5644/


CO: Florida Electric Power Coordinating Group, Inc. ST: Florida IN: UTI SU:

GK -- NYSA016 -- 5784 03/13/93 18:14 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 13, 1993
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