California Urges Consumers to Prepare to Conserve Energy in the Face of Impending Heatwave, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

The California electric utility called on consumers this week to prepare to conserve energy to eliminate the possibility of rotating or controlled outages as homes and businesses crank up their air conditioners to avoid a brutal heatwave.

California’s ISO, which operates most of the state’s electrical system, predicted that demand plus reserves, in case something goes wrong, would exceed power supply for several days this week.

Los Angeles high temperatures are expected to be in the low 90 degrees Fahrenheit (about 33 degrees Celsius) Wednesday through Saturday, which is more than 20 degrees Fahrenheit above the normal high for the time of year, according to AccuWeather.

The ISO predicted that the biggest deficit would occur on Thursday after the sun goes down and solar power is no longer available.

A heat wave last August forced California utilities into rotating power outages that left over 400,000 customers without power for up to 2 1/2 hours when supplies ran low.

The peak demand forecast by the network operator would rise from 40,919 megawatts (MW) on Wednesday to 43,820 MW on Thursday. This contrasts with an all-time high of 50,270 MW in July 2006.

The ISO said peak reserves on Thursday were more than 3,300 MW above shipments expected at the time.

The ISO has announced that it will have around 50,734 MW of supply this summer, but some of that will come from solar energy.

At the beginning of June, the ISO, which does not count all solar systems as available because they only work in sunshine, stated a solar capacity of over 14,100 MW, which produced a record of 13,205 MW in May.

Additionally, the ISO warned that it may not be able to rely on neighboring states for much more electricity as the California heatwave also covers much of the west.

The ISO currently obtained 29% of its output or more than 7,200 MW from imports. This contrasts with a peak value of 9,956 MW in May and a record of 11,894 MW in September 2019.

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