Heat wave triggers Flex Alert

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jun 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-19 17:42:39-04


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The triple-digit temperatures have triggered the first Flex Alert of the season in San Diego.

To prepare for potential stress on the grid, the California Independent System Operator has called for a Flex Alert for Southern California, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, due to high temperatures in the region.

April Walsh, a barista at Santos Coffee in North Park, said the business is already doing its part to save energy.

"I've been around when the power goes out and it's no fun. Businesses can literally shut down and we lose money when we are not open, so if we can all do our best to conserve the energy and everybody can stay open, it's best all around," said Walsh.

Santos Coffee was busy Friday with people ordering iced drinks.

"We've got the fans going. We've got the screen on the window, lots of cold beverages, we do shaved ice, so I've been doing a lot of that today," said Walsh.

She's resisting the urge to turn on the A/C.

"We'll probably wait until the hottest day, Monday. Turn it on early in the day and as soon as we can turn it back off, just to cool the place off," said Walsh.

Hanah Eisenman, communications manager with San Diego Gas & Electric, said the company has been preparing for the heat wave. Power outages are not a concern for next week.

"We have all of our electric generators online. We have our electric transmission lines operating, so we expect to have adequate resources available for our customers this weekend and next," said Eisenman.

The outlook for the rest of the summer is uncertain, however. Eisenman said utility companies across the region will meet next Friday in San Diego to discuss the status of the grid.

"This summer, there is an added wrinkle in the details related to the Aliso Canyon Storage facility. If the region in Los Angeles requires that natural gas has to kind of stay in that region because of the shortages related to Aliso Canyon, it could possibly have an impact down here," said Eisenman.

If a Flex Alert takes effect, customers will be asked to limit the use of major appliances to after 9 p.m. and turn up air conditioners to at least 78 degrees.

Walsh believes it's important everyone works together.

"It makes more sense to me that if we all conserve a little bit, we all get a little bit of power, instead of going completely without power. We care about our land, we care about energy, we care about what we eat and we are very open-minded that way. We take care of what we have," said Walsh.

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