Cal ISO Warns of Power Outages

FOLSOM – The California Independent System Operator (ISO) is alerting Californians to be ready for potential rotating power outages on Tuesday evening, as the hottest weather of this historic heat wave is forecast to push electricity demand to an all-time high.

If outages are initiated, consumers can expect to receive notifications from power providers on areas affected and time duration.

The ISO declared an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) 2 for 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight, which signals to participants to bid more energy into the market, and allows the ISO to tap into emergency demand response programs that provide financial incentives for
reducing energy use. The ISO is expected to declare an EEA 3 around 5:30 p.m., one step away from ordering rotating power outages.

On Monday evening, an emergency declaration pulled additional resources onto the system at a time when the grid was dipping into reserves and there was risk of further emergency action, including power outages. Peak demand was 49,020 megawatts (MW), but consumer conservation, imports, and emergency resources fended off outages.

Consumer and commercial demand response, including Flex Alerts, has been helping to extend sparse supplies at critical hours so far this week, giving operators extra cushion in supplies.

Yesterday, demand response conservation was scheduled to save about 2,000 MW of power when it was most needed. Emergency assistance added another approximate 800 MW of power on the system. This amount of energy was able to help tide the system over during the evening.

But tonight, electricity demand is currently forecast at more than 52,000 megawatts (MW), a new historic all-time high for the grid. As the state faces the hottest day in this prolonged, record-breaking heat wave, grid conditions are expected to worsen.