FOLSOM, Calif. – The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has issued a statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. today.
With excessively high temperatures forecast for California, the power grid operator is predicting an increase in electricity demand, primarily from residential air conditioning use. Conservation efforts could be critical to maintaining reliability on the power system.
California and the Southwest US will be experiencing near-record or record-breaking heat, up to 10-20 degrees above normal in some areas. Above-normal temperatures for the West, including California, are expected to last through the weekend and into late next week.
Prolonged heat over several consecutive days is expected to drive electricity demand higher, as nighttime temperatures are also forecast to be above average. Remnants of a tropical system are expected to bring cloud cover to areas of California through this event, reducing solar generation, which leads to tighter energy supplies.
Consumers are urged to conserve electricity, especially during the late afternoon and early evening, when the grid is most stressed due to higher demand and solar energy production falling. Consumers are urged to set air conditioner thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, turn off unnecessary lights, and use major appliances before 3 p.m. and after 10 p.m.
These conservation measures can help the power grid during a time of tight demand and supply. Reduced energy use during a Flex Alert can prevent further emergency measures, including rotating power outages.
The ISO will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary. For information on Flex Alerts, and to get more electricity conservation tips, visit the ISO’s Flex Alert website.