Flex Alert issued for today, calling for statewide energy conservation

October 15, 2020


Power grid operator predicts high heat and increased demand for electricity

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 hot temperatures in the forecast, the power grid operator is predicting higher than normal electricity demand today, primarily from air conditioning use. Heat advisories continue to blanket the Southern California coast and parts of the Northern California Bay Area region. Temperatures statewide are forecast to be up to 15-25 degrees above normal for this time of the year today and tomorrow.

Wildfires also are a concern to the reliability of the grid, as red flag warnings are in effect for much of Northern California through Friday morning. Fire can cause outages on transmission lines delivering electricity to homes and businesses. Currently no wildfires are directly threatening high-voltage lines, and the ISO is monitoring developments closely and coordinating with fire strike teams throughout the state.

The ISO yesterday issued a Grid Alert, which notifies market participants of a projected shortfall in supply in the day-ahead energy market. A Restricted Maintenance Order (RMO) was also issued to restore any generation that may have been offline for routine scheduled maintenance.

The Flex Alert is being called to help with capacity gaps in the system, and is unrelated to the Public Safety Power Shutoffs, the de-energization of transmission lines ordered by utilities to mitigate localized wildfire risk. Those shutoffs, implemented by power providers, are currently having no effect on the bulk electric system.

Find out more about the PSPS programs at PrepareForPowerDown.com and check with local utilities for affected neighborhoods and times. To learn about the ISO's role during a PSPS, visit the ISO's News webpage and view the fact sheet.

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.

The conservation measures can help the power grid during a time of tight demand and supply, and avoid power interruptions. Energy reduction during a Flex Alert can prevent further emergency measures, including rotating power outages.

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

  • Before 3 p.m., "pre-cool" buildings by setting air conditioning thermostats lower than usual; also, charge electronic devices and electric vehicles; and run dishwashers, washers and dryers and other major appliances.
  • After 3 p.m., set thermostat at 78° or higher
  • Cool with fans and draw drapes
  • Turn off unnecessary lights and defer use of appliances

For information on Flex Alerts, to get more electricity conservation tips, and to sign up for conservation alerts, visit the ISO's Flex Alert website. Visit the ISO's News page for more information on the heat wave's impacts on grid operations, and to learn more about alerts, warnings and emergency notices.

For updates on grid operations, follow us on Twitter at @California_ISO or @FlexAlert, or monitor system conditions in real time at ISO's Today's Outlook.

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A Flex Alert is issued by the ISO when the electricity grid is under stress because of generation or transmission outages, or from persistent hot temperatures. Glossary of terms and acronyms

Click here to learn more about System Alerts, Warnings and Emergencies. Follow grid conditions in real time at ISO’s Today’s Outlook, or download the free ISO Today mobile app.

This advisory is based on the best data available at the time of its release. Grid conditions can change rapidly and are
subject to change without warning. This forecast is accepted by the recipient on the condition that errors, omissions
and/or changes to the contents shall not be made the basis for any claim, demand or cause of action against the California ISO.