by Staff Reporter
AS the temperature rises so does the demand for electricity and as the islands sweltered yesterday, demand for electricity rose to the second highest level on the Majorca-Minorca grid so far this year. Gesa-Endesa spokeswoman Magdalena Frau said yesterday that demand was 914 megawatts, beaten only by the 937 megawatts on January 26, when the island was in the throes of a cold spell. Frau said that this was quite “normal” and was the result of the sudden increase in temperatures, leading to a mass switching on of electric fans and air conditioners. She added that a new record is expected in August, between the 18th and 25th, when demand may reach 1'007 megawatts, beating August 2004*s record of 924 megawatts. She also admitted that yesterday's peak demand could also be beaten in July, if the temperatures continue to rise.
But Gesa-Endesa insists that the grid can cope with demand and there will be no blackouts as in previous summers.
This remains to be seen as wide areas of Minorca were left without power for up to half an hour yesterday.
However, Frau strenuously denied that this was a “blackout” or a “breakdown” although the causes were still being investigated yesterday.
She explained that it was the fail safe system which kicked in when an anomaly was detected.
She described it as a “protective measure” to prevent a malfunction from damaging the equipment, causing a breakdown which would take hours to repair.
The weatherman says that some relief may be expected today as there will be a slight drop in the minimum temperatures, which are still described as “tropical”. The maximum temperatures will remain unchanged, but may go down in some parts of the island.
It has been the second hottest June on record, after June 2003, with temperatures more than 2ºC above average (in June 2003, the temperatures were more than 3ºC above average).

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