California Energy Provider Issues Emergency Alert as Heat Wave Persists

California Energy Provider Issues Emergency Alert as Heat Wave Persists

An aircraft takes off from Los Angeles International Airport behind electric power lines in El Segundo, Calif., on Aug. 31, 2022. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

7/26/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

California’s energy management agency issued emergency alerts this week, encouraging utilities to conserve electricity as prolonged high temperatures continued to bake the state’s valley regions.
On July 25 and 26, the California Independent System Operator (ISO)—a nonprofit agency that oversees the operation of the state’s electric power system—declared the statewide alerts as residents cranked up air conditioners to fend off the heat.
“At this time, the power grid is stable, no supply deficiencies are predicted, and no Flex Alerts are planned,” the agency told The Epoch Times in an email. “However, we are asking Californians to be vigilant in case grid conditions change.”
Flex Alerts, which were issued last summer, are usually declared during prolonged heat events and residents are asked to voluntarily conserve electricity.
While OK for now, the state faced a potential energy shortage this week, according to the agency. Energy providers were alerted and encouraged to direct utility customers to use generators or reduce usage, according to an agency news release.
Utility workers make repairs to electrical wires in Guerneville, Calif., on Jan. 9, 2023. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Utility workers make repairs to electrical wires in Guerneville, Calif., on Jan. 9, 2023. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Shortly after noon Wednesday, a meter on the ISO’s website showed energy demand at nearly 35,000 megawatts, leaving just over 10,500 megawatts available for the rest of the afternoon. One megawatt provides roughly enough electricity for 750 homes at one time, according to the agency.
The state avoided ordering rolling blackouts last year but has used them in the past to deal with energy overloads. However, state energy officials said in May they were much better prepared for this summer and didn’t expect to come up short.
“I’m really happy today to let you all know that the summer outlook is looking much better than we anticipated,” Siva Gunda, vice chair of the California Energy Commission said May 26, according to ABC 7 News. “This year, we predict no shortfalls under average conditions. This is because of the extraordinary efforts of agencies to bring online new resources and also because of better-than-expected hydro conditions due to the atmospheric rivers this winter which are providing a boost in the supply.”

Heat Wave Lingers

Southern California was experiencing its third week of higher-than-normal temperatures this week, with thermometers sticking to about 10 degrees above average for the season, according to the National Weather Service.
The forecasters issued a heat advisory July 25 for most of Southern California, including the Los Angeles region.
Daytime temperatures were expected to reach 97 to 107 degrees in the valley and low-mountain areas of the state, meteorologist Ryan Kittell told The Epoch Times. Beach areas will be cooler, hovering in the 70s.
“If anyone is looking for relief, the beaches are the place to be,” Mr. Kittell said.
Dog lovers and corgis crowded the sands to celebrate the 11th annual Corgi Beach Day in Huntington Beach, Calif., April 1, 2023. (Carol Cassis/The Epoch Times)

Dog lovers and corgis crowded the sands to celebrate the 11th annual Corgi Beach Day in Huntington Beach, Calif., April 1, 2023. (Carol Cassis/The Epoch Times)

The heat advisory is scheduled to expire at 8 p.m. July 27 but could be extended, the weather service reported. The region is expected to see only minimal relief after Thursday.
The weather service wasn’t expecting any records to break this week but daily temperatures were exceptional, according to Mr. Kittell.
The heat dome that has hovered over the state since the first week of July was expected to start moving out by July 31, providing the region with cooler weather for about four days.
After that, another extended heat streak is expected as high pressure builds back up over the state, Mr. Kittell added.
“It will be just as hot, if not hotter,” he said.
As a result of the extended heat wave, fire danger has increased and the weather service encouraged anyone using anything that could cause a spark, such as campfires, firearms, or fireworks, to be extra careful because of parched, dry conditions.
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Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

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Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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