heat wave

Statewide Flex Alert Continues Friday as High Temps Scorch San Diego County

Californians are urged to voluntary conserve energy from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday to prevent shortages from happening

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Operators of California’s power grid issued a statewide Flex Alert for Friday amid scorching temperatures over the West.

Excessive-heat warnings expanded to all of Southern California and northward into the Central Valley on Wednesday, and were predicted to spread into Northern California later in the week. As a result, the California Independent System Operator (California ISO) is urging residents to conserve energy from 4 to 9 p.m.

The series of Flex Alerts started Wednesday, and the California ISO extended the alert for Thursday and then for Friday.

All parts of San Diego County were under excessive heat warnings and temperatures were expected to near 100 degrees inland and far surpass the triple-digit mark in the deserts as the prolonged heat wave stretched into the Labor Day weekend.

The California Independent System Operator said in a statement that it was taking measures to bring all available energy resources online, including issuing an order restricting maintenance from noon to 10 p.m. daily through Sept. 6.

The peak load for electricity demand in California is projected to exceed 48,000 megawatts on Monday, the highest of the year, the grid operator said.

Calls for voluntary conservation, known as Flex Alerts, urge consumers to reduce use of electricity from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., when there is most stress on the grid and solar energy production is declining.

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“The power grid operator expects to call on Californians for voluntary energy conservation via Flex alerts over the long weekend,” the statement said.

The primary ways to reduce household energy use are to raise thermostat temperatures, avoid using major appliances and electric car chargers, and turning off lights.

“If weather or grid conditions worsen, the ISO may issue a series of emergency notifications to access additional resources and prepare market participants and the public for potential energy shortages and the need to conserve,” Cal ISO said.

Forecasters warned of triple-digit temperatures with little overnight relief, as well as elevated risk of wildfires in much of the West.

“The big weather story this week will be a prolonged and possibly record heat wave building across much of the Western U.S. associated with a strong upper level ridge,” the National Weather Service wrote.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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