Due to the high temperatures, California will experience an energy deficit and “Flex Alerts” through Labor Day. Residents are urged to save electricity during the afternoons and nights by, among other things, not charging electric cars.
On Tuesday, The Sacramento Bee reported:
“The California Independent System Operator, which oversees the state’s electricity system, issued a warning on Tuesday that it would probably be issuing a number of Flex Alerts over the coming several days in an effort to prevent blackouts. Flex Alerts are voluntary requests for energy saving in the late afternoon and early evening, when consumption tends to spike. During the hours of 4 to 9 p.m., residents will be advised to raise their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, refrain from using dishwashers or other major appliances, and postpone charging their electric cars.”
The “limited maintenance operations” notice, which the grid management began issuing on Wednesday, instructs transmission line operators and electricity generator operators to postpone normal maintenance that would shut down producing or transmission equipment.
The San Francisco Chronicle provided further details:
“With a forecast peak demand of 48,225 megawatts on Monday, [Anne Gonzales of the California Independent System Operator] predicted that the system will be severely stressed. According to Gonzales, peak loads on Sunday, when temperatures in certain areas of the Bay Area are most likely to hit triple digits, are also anticipated to exceed 48,000 megawatts.”
The capacity of California to import power from neighboring states may be constrained since the weekend’s heat wave will coincide with high temperatures throughout the West, according to the grid operator.
In an effort to convert the entire passenger fleet to electric cars, as part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s campaign to combat climate change, the state has adopted legislation that would outlaw gasoline-powered automobiles by the year 2035. Newsom and state lawmakers are already working feverishly to salvage the state’s final operating nuclear power facility. Due to a dearth of new power plants and the instability of energy from wind and solar power, the state has been in danger of experiencing electricity shortages for a number of years.
During another late summer energy deficit that led to rolling blackouts throughout most of the state two years ago, Newsom encouraged Californians to “sober up” about the limitations of solar and wind power. Since then, the state has strengthened its energy shortage preparations and increased battery capacity but has not increased its energy supplies.
The Chronicle reports that in order to transition to an all-electric fleet by 2035, the electricity system would need to increase its capacity by 30%, a target that authorities believe is doable in ten years.