Heat wave enters ‘most intense phase’; Rolling blackouts possible, California ISO warns

California power grid managers are warning that blackouts are possible Monday and Tuesday as temperatures rise to even higher altitudes from the heat wave already underway.

“We’ve now entered the most intense phase of this heat wave,” Elliott Mainzer, CEO of the California Independent System Operator, said at a multi-company news conference on Monday. “Forecast demand for Monday and Tuesday is at an all-time record level and the potential for a rotating outage has increased significantly.”

As stated therein National Weather Service, Monday’s high temperature is expected to reach 113 degrees in Los Angeles area valleys and deserts. The mountains will reach 105 degrees and the coastal areas will range from 86 to 106.

Wildfires can inhibit generation and spread, the California ISO warned.

A flex alert was issued Monday for the sixth consecutive day, urging Californians to conserve energy during peak hours between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.

So far, Mainzer says, Californians are doing their part.

“Your efforts are making a real difference. In the last two evenings, electricity loads have come in about 1,000 MW lower than our expectations, or roughly two percent lower than forecast,” Mainzer said.

Californians can monitor the state’s current energy demand and capacity in real time California ISO’s Dashboard.

California’s Power Grid Dashboard Monday, September 5 at 11:00 a.m. (California ISO)

The dashboard shows demand will rise to 48,461 MW on Monday. The current capacity is 57,083 MW.

The predicted peak on Tuesday is 51,145 MW.

“It’s not over yet. We’ve got a few more days. It’s going to be tough,” warned Dr. Tom├ís Aragon, director of the California Department of Public Health. “Think of your body as having a thermostat. If you’re alone, you don’t have air conditioning, and the heat is rising, you’ll need to find ways to cool your body.

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Several temperature records fell across the Southland on Sunday.

The mercury hit 109 degrees at Long Beach Airport, breaking the previous record of 107 degrees set in 1958. In Oxnard, Sunday’s high reached 101 degrees, breaking the record of 101 degrees set in 1923.

Burbank Airport hit 110 degrees for the first time since 1939.

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