SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – California’s electricity grid operator issued a rare statewide alert on Thursday warning residents to curb power usage in coming days as a heat wave threatens to strain its already taxed network.
The California Independent System Operation, or CAISO, a not-for-profit corporation charged with operating the majority of the state’s high-voltage grid, issued a “flex” alert urging consumers to reduce power usage especially in the afternoon, when air-conditioning dramatically ramps up demand.
A ridge of high pressure, which brought above-normal heat to the Midwest earlier this summer, is now sitting over the Four Corners region, pushing high temperatures into the upper 80s and low 90s Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) across much of California, about 5 to 10 degrees above normal, according to AccuWeather.com.
CAISO is bracing for the heat wave and struggling to compensate for the loss of the 2,150-megawatt (MW) San Onofre nuclear power plant. That plant will be offline at least through the end of the summer, following a small radiation leak.
The CAISO warned earlier that San Onofre’s prolonged outage increased the possibility of rolling blackouts in Southern California, particularly in the event of extreme weather or additional generation problems.
The electric alert may serve as a reality check for state leaders and grid officials who are struggling to deal with increasing demands for more carbon-free electricity over the next few years.
The full article can be found on Yahoo News