A heat storm is hitting California and for five (6) consecutive days, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has called “Flex Alert.” The Alert’s have been in effect daily since September 1, during the peak electricity consumption hours, from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM. The hope is that Californians state-wide will reduce their energy use while the Flex Alert is in effect, so that power outages may be prevented.
Hot temperatures are expected through Thursday (9/8/2022), so it is likely that CAISO may continue these Alerts through end of the week.
According to the CAISO, Californians from 57 counties have participated in the Flex Alerts and reduced their electricity consumption.
Tuesday’s peak demand is forecast to be 50,087 megawatts (MW), just shy of the all-time record of 50,270 MW set in 2006.
CalFIRE and CAISO are also closely monitoring wildfires which may also add varying threats to transmission lines.
State fire officials have warned that more fires could break out in the coming days, adding to the risk of lost lines or generation.
Governor Gavin Newsom has also issued an Executive Order to address some potential problems. The order is in effect through the extreme weather event. The Order also allows for all backup generation to be able to operate regardless of air emissions issues provided the CAISO issues an Energy Emergency Alert Watch (EEA Watch). The watches are being called a day ahead around 2:30 pm after the day ahead market analysis. The CAISO has issued an EEA Watch every day since September 1.
CDWR also reported late on Monday that 4 temporary emergency power generators were activated to provide electricity to the grid. This is the first time they’re being used as part of an effort to help keep the lights on.
CAISO has warned that power outages are very likely on Tuesday (9/6) and Wednesday (9/7).