In what appears to be some kind of new math, Southern California is no longer expected to be energy-supply-deficient if an extraordinarily hot summer rolls in this year. Factored into the latest calculation of available resources this summer are saved megawatts supplied by voluntary demand-response programs?in particular curtailed power from industrial customers who get a 15 percent energy discount for turning off power at peak times. The southern half of the state has sufficient available resources when factoring in ?negawatts? from interruptible customers, other demand-response programs, and efficiency programs, Joe Desmond, the governor?s energy adviser, told the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee April 11. Last month, both the California Energy Commission and the California Independent System Operator estimated that the southern half of the state was between 1,725 MW and 1,800 MW short of power under a 1-in-10 weather scenario, which factors in a 7 percent reserve (<i>Circuit<\/i>, April 1, 2004). Unlike the numbers presented to the Assembly committee this week, neither the CEC nor the grid operator counted reductions from voluntary demand-response, efficiency, and curtailment programs into their summer 2005 forecasts because the numbers are not firm. Even factoring in the flimsy energy savings estimates, Southern California is far from free and clear. Gary Schoonyan, Southern California Edison director of regulatory affairs, asserted that the utility has a 15 percent resource cushion even under hot weather conditions, but supplies will still be ?tight.? All bets are off, according to Desmond, should a confluence of events wreak havoc on the system, such as a Westwide heat storm accompanied by a loss of a major power line or power plant. ?We can?t justify the resources needed to cover every possible contingency,? he said. At the same time, Desmond noted that proposals for peaking power this summer were rejected because their cost could not be justified. CAISO will do a dry run on April 26 to test what resources will likely be available, when and where, during peak summer demand. Its ?hot day? simulation involving market participants will test whether power supplies can actually get to where they are needed when the mercury rises, allowing the grid operator to get a ?better sense of where we are,? said spokesperson Gregg Fishman.