Excessive Heat Leaves
By Kerri Krueger
Crews from the Department of Water and Power (DWP) began working to restore power shortly after the outage occurred, but they have not set a timeframe for when the work will be completed or for when service will be restored to affected areas.
“The power outage was due to the heat and the people’s demand for air conditioning,” said MaryAnne Pierson, a representative from the DWP. “We don’t have an exact number for the loss of power, but we do know that right now, there are about 4,300 people (business included) that do not have power.”
The entire state is in danger of seeing Stage 1 and/or Stage 2 emergency declarations because of the lack of power conservation. A Stage 1 declaration is normally issued when the state power reserves are lower than 7 percent. At that point, state residents are asked to voluntarily conserve power. During a Stage 2 alert, power can be interrupted for those who volunteer to conserve power. A Stage 3 alert, which the DWP is not concerned with at this point, involves rolling blackouts.
“We need people to conserve power so the demand on the system is reduced. It will also provide a reserve in case of a power emergency,” said a representative from Southern California Edison (SCE). “Without the help of power conservation, the people who volunteer to reduce their power usage may end up sacrificing more.”
Due to the recent outages, SCE has taken numerous measures to increase the power supply. They have added 600 megawatts of new resources (enough to power 400,000 homes), constructed new “peaker facilities” that have a combined 180 megawatts, and have also installed around 180 megawatts of air conditioning cycling capacity.
“We recommend, along the SCE, to set thermostats to about 78 degrees,” said MaryAnne Pierson. “Use fans to stay comfortable and close curtains to block sunlight. We also ask that residents try not to use large appliances during peak hours, which are normally ”
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