Statewide Flex Alert in effect through Wednesday as heat wave strains power grid


FILE -A car drives passed a power station in Mill Valley, California as a statewide blackout continues on October, 10, 2019. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images – FILE)

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — A statewide Flex Alert was issued Sunday that lasts through Wednesday as a heat wave strain’s California’s electric grid.

The Flex Alert, issued by California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the state’s grid operator, calls for voluntary electricity conservation each day, from 3 to 10 p.m. through Wednesday as record-breaking heat is straining electricity supplies.

In a tweet, CAISO said that consumers “should plan for potential outages.” Those rolling outages would likely occur during the late afternoons and early evenings through Wednesday.

The organization said that there was not “a sufficient amount of energy to meet the high amounts of demand during the heatwave.”

Pacific Gas & Electric, California’s largest utility, also urged customers to conserve energy and prepare for “potential for power outage activity.”

Temperatures across the state and PG&E’s coverage area are expected to reach between 100 and 110 degrees in some spots.

The utility said the COVID-19 pandemic has made the “heat-outage” forecast more uncertain because of shifts in electric loads because more people are staying home all day.

Consumer conservation can help lower demand and avoid further actions, including outages, and lessen the duration of an outage.

Between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. CAISO urges 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.

CAISO said it “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.” But it went on to say if a large number of consumers do their part in small ways, power conservation can make a difference.

For information on Flex Alerts, and to get more electricity conservation tips, visit the
CAISO’s Flex Alert website.

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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