The operator of California’s power grid says it expects to have enough electricity to meet the state’s demand during the upcoming heat wave this week. But it’s still asking Californians to use energy wisely.
California ISO says air conditioners should be set to no lower than 78 degrees when a home is occupied – and raised to 80 or turned off when it’s empty.
“That will start taking the steps that we need in order to make sure that we have enough supply on hand to meet everybody’s need, as we get into those really hot days, which is looking like Wednesday and Thursday,” says Cal ISO's Steven Greenlee.
Greenlee says wildfires could pose the biggest risk to California’s electrical grid. If a fire damages a major transmission line or knocks a generation plant out of service, the rest of the system could face increased congestion.
No flex alerts are currently planned, though that could change if the state's supply takes a hit.
Greenlee says the drought has significantly reduced California’s hydropower – which the state especially relies upon in heat waves like this. But an increase in solar generation is helping fill that gap.