Electric operators call for conservation as heat bares down on Southern California

Huntington Beach Power Plant

Roberto (Bear) Guerra

The natural gas-fired AES power plant in Huntington Beach, CA is providing power to 25% of the Southern Californians affected by the temporary closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant during Summer 2012.

It’s going to be another sweaty, sticky day as a heat wave continues to bake Southern California, and the operators of California's electricity grid have declared a Flex Alert for Tuesday to encourage conservation as inland regions continue to swelter.

Forecasters thought temperatures were going to drop this week, meteorologist Scott Sukup said, but “That high pressure that’s centered over the great basin in the four corners region is holding on a little longer than we thought it would. So it’s going to be pretty hot. We are expecting a slight cool-off into the mid-week, but it’s not going to cool off a lot — only a few degrees.”

Sukup says the National Weather Service has put out an “excessive heat warning” for local valleys, including the central and southern San Joaquin Valley and from Santa Barbara County through southeastern California. That’s calculated for areas that may experience a combination of high humidity and temperatures reaching more than 105 degrees.

During the Flex Alert, the California Independent System Operator urges residents to limit electricity use between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The California Independent System Operator said Monday that the forecast peak demand is 47,500 megawatts and conservation will be critical.

A Flex Alert was also called on Friday and Cal-ISO says consumers reduced demand by nearly 1,000 megawatts, equal to the output of two large power plants.

A wide area of mountains and adjacent deserts in the inland region east of Los Angeles is under a flash-flood watch because of very moist and unstable conditions that will produce afternoon thunderstorms.

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