Update: Flex Alert extended through Thursday due to heat, tight power supply
Original story published Sept. 8:
Consumers urged to reduce energy use from 4-9 p.m. to protect grid reliability
–The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has issued a statewide Flex Alert calling for voluntary electricity conservation Wednesday, Sept. 8, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., due to predicted high energy demand and tight supplies on the power grid.
With above-normal temperatures in the forecast for much of California and the West, the power grid operator is predicting an increase in electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use. The increased demand can make electricity supplies tight and strain the power grid, making conservation essential.
During the Flex Alert time period, consumers are asked to lower their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits, and take other voluntary measures that include avoiding the use of major appliances and unnecessary lights.
To take full advantage of all available supply, the ISO has also issued a restricted maintenance operation (RMO) for tomorrow from noon to 9 p.m., notifying ISO participants to avoid taking grid assets offline for routine maintenance until the RMO is lifted.
Conserving electricity during the late afternoon and early evening is crucial because that is when the grid is most stressed due to higher demand and declining solar energy production.
In the past, reducing energy use during a Flex Alert has helped operators keep the power grid stable during tight supply conditions and prevented further emergency measures, including rotating power outages.
For information on Flex Alerts, and to get more electricity conservation tips, visit FlexAlert.org.
Tips before a Flex Alert:
- Pre-cool home by setting the thermostat to as low as 72 degrees
- Use major appliances: washer and dryer, dishwasher, oven and stove for pre-cooking and preparing meals
- Adjust blinds and drapes to cover windows
Tips during a Flex Alert from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.:
- Set thermostat to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits
- Avoid using major appliances
- Turn off all unnecessary lights
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. Follow developing grid conditions at the ISO’s News webpage, under the System Conditions Bulletin, or follow us on Twitter at @California_ISO.
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