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Conservation Needed To Avoid Power Blackouts

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Sacramento, CA — The head of the California Independent System Operator, in charge of managing the state’s electrical grid, says the likelihood of power outages will increase over the coming days.

In a Sunday evening press briefing, CEO Elliot Mainzer said things are about to get “significantly more intense,” as the state prepares to enter the peak of the current heat wave. Unless conservation measures are taken, energy demand is anticipated to outpace demand starting this evening. Then on Tuesday, electricity demands could challenge all-time highs, according to Mainzer. The state has been issuing “Flex Alerts” over the recent days, asking all Californians to limit electricity use between 4-9pm. It includes having air conditioners set at 78 or above, refraining from using major appliances, and not charging electric vehicles.

The state is calling for conservation in hopes of avoiding rolling power outages, last implemented in some parts of California during a heat wave in 2020. Blackouts were avoided in 2021. On Saturday evening the state used 44,000 megawatts of electricity, and by Tuesday it is anticipated to increase to around 50,000 megawatts.

The high temperatures in the Mother Lode, the Northern San Joaquin Valley and the western slope of the northern Sierra Nevada are expected to range between 105 to 115 degrees.