SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — California's electrical grid operator said Sunday that a Flex Alert would be issued once again for the state to start the week, as high heat cooks the west and a wildfire in Oregon rages.
The Flex Alert would begin on Monday at 4 p.m. and last until 9 p.m., Cal-ISO announced. The alert is needed because of the heatwave that has left much of the west sweltering and Oregon's Bootleg Fire, which has impacted electrical transmission lines that feed power into the Golden State.
According to Cal-ISO, the Bootleg Fire tripped off transmission lines on Friday and Saturday, which limited the flow of power from the Pacific Northwest to California and other states. The fire has reduced incoming power by as much as 3,500 megawatts.
"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 agency said in a release.
The agency also issued a "restricted maintenance operations" for Monday that will require generators to postpone any planned outages for routine maintenance.
If demand exceeds supplies during the Flex Alert, California may order rolling outages.
Prior to a Flex Alert, residents are encouraged to pre-cool their homes by lowering the thermostat, use any major appliances if needed, close window coverings to cool their home, and charge any electronic devices.
During a Flex Alert, residents are encouraged to:
- Set thermostats to 78 or higher, if health permits;
- Avoid using major appliances;
- Turn off unnecessary lights; and
- During the day, residents can pre-cool their homes, use major appliances, and charge electronics to avoid power use later in the day.
Cal-ISO added that until the state's ability to store solar and wind energy with batteries and other technologies improves, the most effective way to keep the state's electrical grid stable is to practice collective conservation.