California power outages possible during heatwave: NPR
As Californians turn up the air conditioning during a heat wave, state officials are urging consumers to limit their electricity use to avoid overloading the power grid — and the risk of blackouts.
A California grid operator issued an emergency power grid alert on Monday and renewed calls for people to find ways to save electricity this week during the afternoons and evenings to avoid outages.
For the sixth day in a row, a statewide flex alert was in effect Monday, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. PT. During a Flex Alert, consumers are asked to set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, avoid using major appliances and turn off all unnecessary lights.
“We have now entered the most intense phase of this heat wave,” said Elliot Mainzer, general manager of California Independent System Operator, known as Caiso. “Demand forecast for Monday and Tuesday is at all-time highs and the potential for rotating outages has increased significantly.”
Mainszer said the Flex Alerts have helped reduce stress on the power grid, but consumers will need to increase their conservation level by two or three times.