Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

Heat's rising, but California's grid operators say they'll manage (for now)

39972 full
39972 full

The operators of the state’s power grid they’re ready to keep air conditioners humming during today’s high temperatures.

The California Independent Systems Operator updates its daily supply-and-demand outlook every ten minutes on the web. And they'll announce a FlexAlert if it looks like demand is cranking up faster than the power available — potentially asking consumers to turn off lights and computers that aren't needed, reset thermostats to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, and hold off on washing clothes or dishes till after dinner. 

CAISO spokeswoman Stephanie McCorkle says one reason a FlexAlert is unlikely (for now) is that the forecasted demand for power isn’t as high as records set in the past.

“We’re seeing a very manageable forecast for a peak demand today of 43 thousand megawatts as compared to the all time record peak of more than 50 thousand in 2006,” McCorkle said.

McCorkle says long or back to back heat waves could tax the grid when power plants work overtime, “especially the power plants down in Southern California and are making up for the deficit been created by the San Onofre nuclear power plant being off-line.”

Some tips of staying cool from Southland utilities:

  • Turn thermostats to 78 degrees
  • Wait until after 6 p.m. to run appliances like dishwashers and washing machines
  • Close drapes and blinds to keep rooms and offices cooler
  • Think about relying on ceiling fans instead of air conditioning
  • Keep some cool water or iced tea handy 
blog comments powered by Disqus

Enjoy reading Pacific Swell? You might like KPCC’s other blogs.

What's popular now on KPCC