Heat wave causing issues for California power grid

 

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) issued a statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, beginning today and extending through Wednesday. The Flex Alerts are in effect from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

A persistent, record-breaking heat wave in California and the western states is causing a strain on supplies, and consumers should be prepared for likely rolling outages during the late afternoons and early evenings through Wednesday. There is not a sufficient amount of energy to meet the high amounts of demand during the heatwave.

However, consumers can actively help by shifting energy use to morning and nighttime hours and conserving as much energy as possible during the late afternoon and evening hours. Consumer conservation can help lower demand and avoid further actions including outages, and lessen the duration of an outage.

Consumers are urged to lower energy use during the most critical time of the day, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., when temperatures remain high and solar production is falling due to the sun setting.

Extended periods of heat also can cause generator equipment failures that can lead to more serious unplanned losses of power.

The ISO recognizes that reducing energy use during the hot time of the day is a hardship, especially for those working from home or with children schooling at home. However, if a large number of consumers do their part in small ways, conservation can make a difference.

Between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m., the ISO is urging consumers to:

•Set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees, if health permits.

•Defer use of major appliances.

•Turn off unnecessary lights.

•Unplug unused electrical devices.

•Close blinds and drapes.

•Use fans when possible.

• Limit time the refrigerator door is open.

Consumers can also take steps to prepare for the Flex Alert by doing the following before 3 p.m.:

• “Pre-cool” their homes, or lower air conditioning thermostats to 72 degrees.

• Charge electric vehicles.

• Charge mobile devices and laptops.

• Run dishwashers, washing machines and other major appliances.

• Set pool pumps to run in the early morning or late at night.

For information on Flex Alerts, and to get more electricity conservation tips, visit the ISO’s Flex Alert website.
Follow grid conditions in real time at ISO’s Today’s Outlook, or download the free ISO Today mobile app.