A blistering heat wave scorching California has prompted officials managing much of the state’s power grid to issue a Flex Alert that calls for consumers to voluntarily conserve electricity from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday.
The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) forecast that peak use on Tuesday will exceed 48,000 megawatts. If that figure is reached it will mark the highest demand on the grid seen so far this year.
CAISO urged customers to especially target their conservation efforts during the late afternoon, when air conditioners are at peak use.
Power interruptions can also be avoided, CAISO officials said, if electricity users:
- set thermostats at 78 degrees or higher
- turn off all unnecessary lights
- draw drapes and use fans
- use major appliances in the morning or late evening, rather than during the afternoon
San Diego Gas & Electric issued a statement saying it does not foresee any issue with meeting the power needs of its customers Tuesday or through the rest of the week, saying the utility has “plenty of resources” and is not worried about shortages.
“Extreme temperatures are being felt in the North, so doing our part to help relieve stress on the grid always helps,” SDG&E spokeswoman Allison Torrres said.
A high-pressure system is lingering over California, causing extreme heat. In San Diego County on Monday, temperatures hit 110 or higher in Ocotillo Wells, Borrego Springs and Valley Center. Ramona equaled its all-time high temperature for the date by reaching 105 degrees.
Many schools in San Diego County decided to release students early from class on Tuesday.
Other parts of the state are sweating it out, too. The National Weather Service on Tuesday issued an excessive heat warning for a large area of South Central California, including Fresno and Bakersfield as well as San Joaquin and Tulare counties.
CAISO, which serves about 80 percent of the state’s electricity consumers, issues Flex Alerts when the electricity grid is under stress from persistent hot temperatures or because of generation or transmission outages.
Tuesday marked the third statewide alert CAISO has issued this year.
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