LADWP reports customer power use hits new high for 2017 with hot weather

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said that customer electricity use peaked at 6,048​ MW on Aug. 29, setting a new high for 2017 and exceeding the previous high of 5,687 MW set on July 7.  

With both day and nighttime temperatures remaining near record-highs, LADWP on Aug. 30 encouraged customers to continue taking steps to reduce electricity use between 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. PST.

LADWP said its grid operators were forecasting a new high of 6,226 MW Aug. 30, which would be another new high for the year and just shy of the all-time record of 6,396 MW set in September 2014.

LADWP said that as of 11:00 a.m. Aug. 30, there were 1,930 customers out of 1.4 million without power. “Crews have been working around the clock to restore small, localized outages,” the public power utility noted.

It said that outages in the LADWP service territory peaked at approximately 15,000 customers Aug. 29, with the areas of Northridge and Boyle Heights most impacted.

LADWP said that due to extreme heat and customer demand, high voltage equipment at two of LADWP’s 125 in-basin distributing stations experienced overloading conditions that resulted in outages.  

Distributing stations servicing portions of Northridge and Boyle Heights became overloaded at approximately 5:00 p.m. Aug. 29, leading to outages affecting approximately 5,000 customers in Boyle Heights and 10,000 customers in Northridge.

The Boyle Heights outage was fully restored in approximately two hours and the Northridge outage was fully restored at 3:22 a.m. Aug. 30.  

“In both cases, crews were able to either reroute power to reduce station overloading, or switch electric circuits to other equipment once demand for electricity went down in the middle of the night,” the utility said. Repairs to equipment in Northridge were ongoing the morning of Aug. 30, with crews attempting to make repairs before power demand spiked as temperatures rose.

“LADWP crews will continue working around the clock throughout the heat storm to restore customers who lose power as quickly and safely as possible,” it said. In order to decrease strain on the electric grid, it urged customers to do what they can to help conserve energy.

CAISO issued statewide Flex Alert on Aug. 29

The California Independent System Operator on Aug. 29 issued a statewide “Flex Alert”that called for voluntary electricity conservation from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. that day.

A Flex Alert is issued by the ISO when the electricity grid is under stress because of generation or transmission outages, or from persistent hot temperatures.

In a news release, CAISO said the forecast peak use for Aug. 29 was expected to exceed 48,000 MW, which if met would have been the highest demand on the grid seen so far this year.

CAISO spokesman Steven Greenlee on Aug. 30 said that the peak for Aug. 29 came in at 47,158 MW.  Besides conservation from the Flex Alert, which has now ended, “it is likely demand was a little bit less because real-time temperatures along the coasts came in 2 or 3 degrees cooler than expected compared to the day ahead forecast,” he noted in an email.