Peaking Tokyo heatwave sees residents urged to save power again

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TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - Businesses and homes in Tokyo were asked to curb electricity use for a third day as a heatwave is set to reach its zenith for now, driving power margins to razor-thin levels.

The capital's power-reserve ratios, which measure the spare electricity capacity, will drop below the 3 per cent level considered the minimum for a stable grid, and are expected to plunge to 0.5 per cent at around 5pm local time (4pm Singapore time), according to the country's power grid coordinator.

Scorching temperatures are hitting parts of the northern Kanto region that surrounds the metropolis, with blazing heat in prefectures that fall under Tokyo Electric Power's coverage, putting pressure on the network as cooling demand rises.

The temperature in southern Gunma prefecture is expected to reach 40 deg C on Wednesday (June 29), according to the meteorological agency.

Tokyo is seeing the most severe heatwave for June in records going back to 1875, according to the Japan Weather Association.

Tokyo has avoided blackouts for the past two days as residents and industries have responded to calls to curb power consumption, and after the nation's grid manager ordered other regions to share supply.

Residents of the nation's capital may need to get accustomed to hearing constant calls for electricity conservation, as supply is expected to be very tight this summer.

Jera Co, the country's top power producer, has pushed back the restart of one generation unit one day to Thursday on the back of maintenance delays.

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