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California Grid Operator Calls For Electricity Conservation With Forecast Of High Temperatures

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) called for voluntary electricity conservation on Wednesday, Sept. 8, due to predicted high energy demand and tight supplies on the power grid.

With above-normal temperatures in the forecast for much of California and the West, the power grid operator was predicting an increase in electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use, it noted on Sept. 7 in issuing a statewide Flex Alert that called for voluntary electricity conservation from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

During the Flex Alert time period, consumers are asked to lower their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits, and take other voluntary measures that include avoiding the use of major appliances and unnecessary lights.

CAISO noted that in the past, reducing energy use during a Flex Alert has helped operators keep the power grid stable during tight supply conditions and prevented further emergency measures, including rotating power outages.

To take full advantage of all available supply, the ISO also issued a restricted maintenance operation (RMO) for Sept. 8 from noon to 9 p.m., notifying ISO participants to avoid taking grid assets offline for routine maintenance until the RMO is lifted.