NewsLocal News


Flex Alert issued again, power grid manager warns of rotating outages

California ISO has called for consumer energy conservation six days in a row.
Power lines
Posted at 12:50 PM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-05 12:14:16-04

FOLSOM, Calif. (KGTV) – The manager of California's power grid issued a flex alert for Labor Day with a sense of urgency, warning electricity customers of the possibility of rotating power outages.

The flex alert calls for the voluntary conservation of electricity from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., according to the California Independent System Operator.

CAISO warned residents Sunday that the heat wave is only going to get more intense over the next few days, pushing the power grid to its limit.

“We are facing a load forecast of 48,817 megawatts and energy deficits between 2,000 and 4,000 megawatts for Monday, resulting in the highest likelihood of rotating outages we have seen so far this summer," said ISO President and CEO Elliot Mainzer.

An additional hour was added to the flex alert because of the expected load on the power grid. For context, CAISO says the peak load on Saturday was 44,123 megawatts, while Sunday's forecast was 45,766 megawatts.

The press release says electricity customers cutting back on energy have helped save between 600 and 700 megawatts in recent days, and further energy conservation will have an even larger impact these next few days.

CAISO warns that several generators are already out of service, making the energy supply even tighter. The projected electricity demand for Tuesday exceeds 50,000 megawatts.

“With excessive heat in the forecast across much of the state and Western U.S., the grid operator is expecting high electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use, and is calling for voluntary conservation steps to help balance supply and demand,” the agency said.

RELATED: San Diego County, City of San Diego Cool Zones

Before the flex alert, Californians should:

  • Pre-cool home by setting the thermostat to as low as 72 degrees
  • Use major appliances:
  • Washer and dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Oven and stove for pre-cooking and preparing meals
  • Adjust blinds and drapes to cover windows

During the Flex Alert from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.:

  • Set thermostat to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits
  • Avoid using major appliances
  • Turn off all unnecessary lights

The ISO issues a flex alert when the electricity grid is under stress because of “generation of transmissions," or from "persistent hot temperatures.”

RELATED: Tips for protecting pets during heat wave