By Rachel Emmanuel
According to the state’s independent system operator, California is one step away from mandating rotating power outages.
The California Independent System Operator (ISO) is warning Californians to prepare for possible rotating power outages tonight as the hottest weather of the heatwave is expected to push power demand to an all-time high.
The ISO issued an Energy Emergency Alert 2 (EEA) Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., signaling participants to offer more energy to the market and allowing the ISO to launch emergency demand response programs that offer financial incentives to reduce energy consumption.
“The ISO is expected to declare an EEA 3 at around 5:30 p.m., one step away from ordering rotating blackouts,” a press release said.
Electricity demand for Tuesday night is forecast at more than 52,000 megawatts, “a new historic all-time high for the grid,” according to the ISO.
“Grid conditions are expected to deteriorate in light of the hottest day of this sustained, record-breaking heatwave. If needed, ISO could order utilities to begin rotating power outages to maintain grid stability.”
The ISO said rotating blackouts could help maintain reliability and avoid cascading blackouts. If the ISO determines that inventories are insufficient to meet demand and reserves are depleted, it would direct utilities to start outages to bring demand back into line with available supplies, it said.
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The ISO said outages are a “significant” inconvenience for those affected, but that it is preferable to deal with emergencies in a controlled manner rather than “more widespread, longer-lasting disruptions”.
“Power outages are kept as short as possible and utilities rotate them through their customer base so that no area experiences prolonged outages. Utilities are determining how best to spread and rotate outages across their customer base with the goal of limiting their duration as much as possible.”
If an ongoing power outage occurs, consumers should expect notifications — either by phone, text message or email — from their utility companies informing them of outage areas and likely duration, ISO said.
Source: The Countersignal
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