California · Energy

Grid Operator: Rolling blackouts imminent Tuesday as temps across Calif. soar

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has issued an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) 3, effective at 5:17 p.m. tonight, as electricity supplies run low in the face of record heat and demand. If necessary, the grid operator can now order rotating power outages to lower demand and stabilize the system.

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

Earlier today, ISO had already 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.

As grid conditions worsened, energy supplies were determined to be insufficient to cover demand and reserves, and an EEA 3 was declared. Controlled power outages are now imminent or in process according to each utility’s emergency plan.

Tonight’s peak electricity demand is currently forecast at more than 52,000 megawatts (MW), a new historic all-time high for the grid, as the state endured the hottest day in this prolonged, record-breaking heat wave.

If needed, ISO could order utilities to begin rotating power outages to maintain stability of the electric grid. If that occurs, consumers should expect communications – either phone, text or email – from their utilities notifying them of outage areas and likely durations.

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Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.