Shortly after 1800ET, just as Californians begin to head home for the day, the California Independent System Operator issued a level-1 energy emergency alert shortly after tapping all its available power supplies.
Despite earlier warnings to reduce usage, Californians – in all their self-righteous virtue – decided to charge their EV anyway, pushing demand above capacity
Bear in mind that it is not even in the scheduled Flex Alert period (from 4pm to 9pm PST) yet.
“It’s pretty clear Mother Nature has outrun us,” California Governor Gavin Newsom, who issued an executive order Wednesday to free up emergency power supplies, said during a news conference.
“The reality is we’re living in an age of extremes — extreme heat, extreme drought.”
…and extreme lack of grid preparedness for your state’s virtue-signaling.
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Update (1600ET): As the day went on, California warmed up more than expected and that has prompted California’s grid operator to issue a specific warning of the potential for power shortfalls that could lead to blackouts on Wednesday night.
Officials asked residents to cut back on power use Wednesday between 4 and 9 p.m. as temperatures soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
“This is a manifestation of what CAISO warned folks about back in May, that unless they see voluntary curtailments the grid could become unstable during certain periods of high demand,” said Gary Cunningham, director of market research at risk management firm Tradition Energy.
“In this case it is extreme heat that is causing it, but overall weakness in the supply picture are adding to the issue.”
The heat poses the biggest test to the grid since the summer of 2020, when rolling outages engulfed portions of the state.
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California power grid officials have a sobering warning this week, telling customers to brace for potential blackouts as the state’s grid faces capacity constraints over the Labor Day weekend.
“The top three conservation actions are to set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, avoid using large appliances and charging electric vehicles, and turn off unnecessary lights.
“Lowering electricity use during that time will ease strain on the system, and prevent more drastic measures, including rotating power outages,” California Independent System Operator (CAISO) told customers.
California’s grid is projected to exceed 48,000 megawatts next Monday, the highest of the year, as a menacing heatwave will send temperatures across the state 10-20 degrees above normal through next Tuesday.
The fact that CAISO has to ask customers not to charge their EVs during the current heatwave implies the grid is fragile.
“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 s-hortages and the need to conserve,” California’s grid operator warned.
A surge in EV charging at home could bring down parts of the state’s grid.