State’s electrical grid operator urges conservation for 3rd-straight day amid ‘worst heat wave’ this year

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California’s grid operator has issued a statewide call for energy conservation for a third straight day as the state continues to endure record-high temperatures.

In the California Independent System Operator’s (ISO) most recent Flex Alert issued for Sept. 2, 2022, the ISO has called for voluntary electricity conservation amid triple-digit temperatures, including encouraging homeowners not to use major appliances between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. The alert also urges homeowners not to set their thermostats any lower than 78 degrees.

“Consumer conservation efforts helped maintain power grid stability yesterday, and the California Independent System Operator (ISO) is calling for additional conservation and preparing for possible emergency actions as the state and much of the Western U.S. endure the worst heat wave so far this summer,” an ISO news release read.

Additional calls for conservation are likely through the Labor Day Holiday,” it added.

The California ISO, which oversees the state’s bulk electric power system, says its Flex Alert system has proven effective in keeping the grid functional.

“Reducing energy use during a Flex Alert can help stabilize the power grid during tight supply conditions and prevent further emergency measures, including rotating power outages,” the non-profit said.

“The Flex Alert covers that time of day when the grid is most stressed from higher demand and less solar energy,” its statement added. “To minimize discomfort and help with grid stability, consumers are also encouraged to pre-cool their homes and use major appliances and charge electric vehicles and electronic devices before 4 p.m., when conservation begins to become most critical.”

California continues to endure high heat and subsequent high energy demands as well as unexpected power plant failure. One such failure was caused by a wildfire in Southern California that tripped several transmission lines.

The ISO said some of these resources have been restored.

“Some of the resources lost yesterday have partially returned to service, but hot weather and the highest forecasted loads of the year continue to threaten grid reliability throughout the Labor Day weekend.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday that allows the state to ramp up its electricity supply ahead of the holiday.

California has an Excessive Heat Warning in effect in the San Joaquin Valley, Coastal Range, lower Sierra Nevada Foothills, Yosemite Valley, Kern River Valley, Mojave Desert and Slopes, and the Indian Wells Valley areas until 8 p.m. PDT.

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