The California Independent System Operator, which manages the electric grid for about 80 percent of the state and a small portion of Nevada, has issued a statewide Flex Alert from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday because of predictions of high energy demand and tight energy supplies across the West.
“With higher than normal temperatures in the forecast for parts of interior Northern California, the power grid operator is predicting an increase in electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use,” the grid operator, known as the CAISO for short, said in a news release. “The increase can make electricity supplies tight and cause strain on our power grid.”
Utility customers are asked to voluntarily reduce energy use during that five-hour time period to help avoid the risk of the CAISO resorting to rotating outages. During the late afternoon and early evening, the production of solar energy ebbs as the sun goes down and can stress the power system on particularly hot days.
Energy conservation measures include:
- turning off unnecessary lights
- delaying the use of major appliances until after 9 p.m.
- setting air conditioner thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits and
- adjusting blinds and drapes to cover windows to keep rooms cool.
In recent months the West has been hit with hot weather and a series of wildfires.. Wednesday’s Flex Alert is the sixth issued this year, surpassing the number of Flex Alerts for all of 2020.
The forecast for San Diego Wednesday does not call for excessively hot weather. Skies are expected to be cloudy through midmorning and gradually clearing, with a high near 79. Northwest winds of 5 to 10 mph are expected. But the National Weather Service expects a heat wave across portions of Northern California on Wednesday, producing temperatures well over 100 degrees across in places such as Sacramento.