A statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, will be in effect from 3 Wednesday afternoon to 10 Wednesday evening, with managers of the state’s power grid hoping it will stave off the need for rolling blackouts.
Rolling blackouts were again averted Tuesday thanks to conservation by consumers, imported energy and power from wind plants, the California Independent System Operator announced.
A Stage 2 Emergency was declared around 2 p.m. by the grid operator which was preparing to order load shed to take the strain off the grid. However, demand came in lower than forecast and the emergency was canceled at 7:37 p.m.
“Californians made tonight a success,” said Steve Berberich, president and CEO of California ISO, which manages the state power grid. “Everyone pulled together and responded to our warning with action to avoid any interruption in electricity supplies.”
California’s record-breaking heat wave has put strain on the ISO electric system since Friday as air conditioners pushed up electricity demand.
Wednesday, residents are being asked to use air conditioning early in the day and set thermostats no lower than 78 in the afternoon and evening hours, while avoiding the use of major appliances during the Flex Alert hours.
Officials also urged businesses statewide to restrict their usage. In some cases, the state is asking business owners to support outreach to their customers about conserving energy.