CALIFORNIA—On September 6, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) issued an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) 3, effective at 5:17 p.m. notifying the public of possible power outages and blackouts, and advising them to use less power to protect the grid.
The ISO explained that as electricity supplies run low and they are unable to meet the power demand it may become necessary to rotate power outages to reduce demand, stabilize the system, and protect the grid.
California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a response to the expected power outages, and blackouts expected in the face of California’s heat wave that is driving temperatures into the triple digits.
With temperatures in Southern California reaching between 102 and 116 degrees on Tuesday, September 6, grid operators are reporting the strain on the power system.
In his Emergency Alert, Governor Newsom restricted power usage on September 6. The ISO previously requested Californians to decrease their power usage in EEA 2 from 4-9 p.m. including the charging of electric vehicles and keeping home thermostats lower than 78 degrees.
According to the California ISO, the electric demand peaked at 52,000 megawatts September 6; the highest electric demand in history. The closest the state came to such demands on the power grid was in 2006 with 50,270 megawatts.
The California ISO explained a Flex Alert is a call to consumers to voluntarily conserve energy to prevent more dire measures such as moving into EEA notifications.
Newsom makes the following recommendations to follow prior to an alert. Pre-cool your home by lowering the thermostat to 72 degrees. Close the blinds and drapes to keep the heat out. Turn off unnecessary lights. Charge mobile devices, laptops, and medical equipment. Use the dishwasher, washing machine, and other appliances before 3 p.m.
Three Energy Emergency alerts have been issued by the ISO:
-In Energy Alert 1, Real-time analysis shows all resources are in use or committed for use, and energy deficiencies are expected. Market participants are encouraged to offer supplemental energy and ancillary service bids. Consumers are encouraged to conserve energy.
-Energy Emergency Alert 2 ISO requests emergency energy from all resources and has activated its emergency demand response program. Consumers are urged to conserve energy to help preserve grid reliability.
-Energy Emergency Alert 3 ISO is unable to meet minimum Contingency Reserve requirements and controlled power curtailments are imminent or in progress according to each utility’s emergency plan. Maximum conservation by consumers is requested.