CA Electric Grid To Be Tested Again During Labor Day Weekend Heat Wave

Akber Jiwani (R), the owner of New Bait Shop, and David Johnson (L), owner of Davey Jones Market, talk to a customer in front of their store darkened by a power outage on October 10, 2019 in Sausalito, California.
Photo credit Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

The manager of California’s electricity grid Wednesday issued an alert for Labor Day weekend as it tries to avoid more rolling blackouts.

It’s feared expected triple-digit temperatures could put a strain on the grid.

The California Independent System Operator issued a Restricted Maintenance Order notice from 6 a.m. Saturday to 10 p.m. Sunday. The order maximizes grid resources by directing power generators to defer any planned shutdowns for routine maintenance.

"It’s a situation where you have a prolonged heat event over several states and throughout California," said Cal ISO Spokesperson Vonette Fontaine. "That’s what really drives the demand."

Fontaine added it’s currently too early to forecast whether a Flex Alert will be needed, regardless of Californians being proactive.

While hot weather is forecast statewide Labor Day weekend, it is too early to assess the impacts of heat on grid conditions. No Flex Alerts or Stage Emergencies are planned at this time. The #ISO is closely monitoring #CAwx and wildfires and will update closer to the weekend.

— California ISO (@California_ISO) September 1, 2020

With temperatures in some parts of the region forecast at over 100 degrees, the state is already planning for the heat wave. Brian Ferguson with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services told KCBS Radio that one of the challenges of the widespread heat wave is that the state’s energy moves back and forth between states.

With high temperatures in the forecast for the holiday weekend, the manager of California’s electric grid today issued an alert to free up resources.

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently ordered an investigation into the most recent round of blackouts, which had the state on edge for days as an oppressive heat wave persisted.