August 14, 2020 – The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has declared a statewide Stage 2 Emergency for Friday, August 14, due to excessive heat driving up electricity use and putting strain on the grid. During this emergency, if system conditions do not improve, the ISO would declare a Stage 3, which will lead to rotating power outages.
The ISO is working closely with utilities and neighboring power systems to manage the strain on the grid and to limit any potential power disruptions.
The ISO called a Flex Alert, a voluntary call to consumers to conserve electricity, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. today. Consumers are urged during those times to set air conditioner thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, turn off unnecessary lights, and defer use of major appliances.
These conservation measures can help the power grid during a time of tight demand and supply. Reduced energy use during a Flex Alert can prevent further emergency measures, including the incidence of rotating power outages.
The ISO also issued a warning earlier today that encouraged energy resources to participate in the ISO market and allowed the grid operator to request utilities implement demand response programs to reduce residential and business electricity use.