The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has issued an urgent call to conserve energy on Monday as extreme temperatures and a wildfire in Oregon strains the electric grid.
The statewide alert will be in effect from 4 to 9 p.m. on Monday.
The heat that is sending energy consumption soaring combined with the growing wildfire in southern Oregon is creating unreliability in the state's power system, the ISO said. The Bootleg Fire has burned 150,000 acres and is 0% contained.
"With electric transmission lines from Oregon still unreliable due to the explosive Bootleg Fire and continued high temperatures across the West resulting in increased demand for electricity, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) issued a statewide Flex Alert for Monday, July 12 to help stabilize the state’s electric grid and deal with uncertainty created by the extraordinary conditions," the ISO said in a release.
Flex Alerts are issued when the electricity grid is overtaxed due to high temperatures, the ISO said. It is a voluntary call on residents to conserve electricity when demand is at its peak.
Before the Flex Alert takes effect, Californian's are encouraged to take the following steps to be comfortable and help grid operators balance electricity supply and demand:
- Pre-cool your home by lowering the thermostat
- If you need to use your major appliances, do it before the Flex Alert is in effect,
when solar energy is plentiful
- Close window coverings to keep your home or apartment cool
- Charge electronic devices and electric vehicles so there’s no need to do it later,
when solar generation is down
When the Flex Alert is in effect, consumers should conserve electricity by turning off unnecessary lights, not using major appliances and setting air conditioner thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, especially in the late afternoon and early evening when the grid is most stressed, the ISO said.
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More energy-saving tips can be found on the FlexAlert website.
High temperatures are expected to peak this weekend for Southern California, the National Weather Service said.
An excessive heat warning for the deserts and heat advisory for the mountains was issued from Saturday to Sunday evening in SoCal.