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Manager of California's power grid warns heat could drive up power demand

Heat warnings issued in a hot summer
Posted at 11:17 AM, Jul 10, 2024

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - With hot conditions persisting across the state, the manager of California's power grid issued a heat bulletin Wednesday advising residents that the continued high temperatures could drive up energy demand and strain the electrical system.

The California Independent System Operator insisted that "at this time, the grid is stable," but it noted that incessant high heat will drive up demand for power.

"As the heat persists, it's important to emphasize that events that linger for many consecutive days can overtax generators running at high outputs for long periods, causing outages and reduced generation," according to Cal-ISO. "Wildfires are also active in many areas of the state, which can pose a threat to generators and transmission lines. And the hotter weather is now extending to other areas of the West, which could limit the potential for importing energy."

Cal-ISO officials noted that Thursday is likely to be the hottest day of the week across the state, with even some coastal areas in Southern California potentially reaching 90 degrees, while areas such as Lancaster and Palmdale could reach up to 113 and Palm Springs as high as 120 degrees.

The system operator noted that increased electricity demand is anticipated for most of the state Wednesday and Thursday. If the state's power grid becomes strained, or there's an indication it could become strained, Cal-ISO issues a series of emergency notifications, beginning with the most common type -- a Flex Alert.

Flex Alerts are issued as a call to residents to voluntarily cut back their energy use to help reduce strain on the power system, particularly during peak heat hours in the late afternoon and early evening. If demand continues to outpace supplies, the agency could move through a series of emergency alerts, potentially building to rolling outages.

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