Reduced capacity, along with fires and heat, impacting energy supplies
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.
With high temperatures in the forecast, the power grid operator is predicting an increase in electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use. Reduced capacity, along with fire activity and heat, has led to a potential shortage of energy supply this evening.
Yesterday, a Grid Alert was issued for a possible electricity shortage in the day-ahead market, for one hour beginning at 6 p.m. today, and a Restricted Maintenance Operations (RMO) notice was issued for the period 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. today. The Grid Alert will allow operators to call up demand response supply, while the RMO allows operators to call all available generation onto the system and bring back transmission that may be offline for planned maintenance.
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 also asked to turn off unnecessary lights, delay using major appliances until after 10 p.m., and set air conditioner thermostats to 78 degrees or higher.
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.
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.
- 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, to get more electricity conservation tips, and to sign up for conservation alerts, visit the ISO’s Flex Alert website. 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.