Navy nears deal to help avoid state power shortages

SAN DIEGO (AP) – The Navy
is nearing a first-time agreement to reduce electricity use at its
sprawling San Diego-area bases, if power runs short in Southern
California this summer.

The Navy is San Diego Gas
& Electric's largest customer, and the deal is intended to diminish
the threat of blackouts while the San Onofre nuclear plant remains
offline.

Under the agreement, the
Navy would temporarily reduce its energy consumption if supplies get
scarce, in exchange for savings on rates. The utility has similar
agreements with large industrial customers that can slash demand for
power at critical times.

State officials have warned
of rotating blackouts this summer in Southern California if a heat wave
hits while the ailing reactors remain dark, though activists say
adequate reserves are on hand.

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2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not
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