(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

California power grid manager urges residents to conserve energy amid intense heat wave

The manager of California’s power grid is urging residents to voluntarily conserve energy through Wednesday as the state continues to ride out a record-breaking heat wave.

The California Independent System Operator also warned of more power outages in its statewide flex alert issued Sunday. As of shortly after 5 p.m. PG&E was warning that rolling power outages might be necessary in San Francisco, San Mateo and Contra Costa counties.

The heat wave “is causing a strain on supplies, and consumers should be prepared for likely rolling outages during the late afternoons and early evenings through Wednesday,” the ISO said in its alert, adding that there is not enough energy to meet the high amounts of electricity people are using in order to cool themselves down.

Residents are asked to lower energy use from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., when temperatures remain high but the sun is weaker.

The ISO recommends setting air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees, turning off unnecessary lights, unplugging electrical devices not in use, closing blinds and drapes, and using fans, when possible.

The California Independent System Operator, the body that runs the electric grid for most of California, declared a statewide Stage 3 emergency Friday evening and ordered utilities to shed about 1,000 megawatts, prompting rolling blackouts across the state. A single megawatt powers about 750 homes, spokeswoman Anne Gonzales said.

It was the first time since 2001 that state electric grid operators have had to implement such a drastic step.

Forecasters warned that the heat wave, which is expected to last through at least Thursday, could rival the deadly seven-day heat event of July 2006.

Multiple daily heat records were set Saturday. The National Weather Service reported a high of 112 in Woodland Hills, breaking the record of 108 set in 1977, and a high of 92 at UCLA, breaking the record of 90 set in 2003. Downtown Los Angeles hit 98 degrees, tying a record set in 1994.

The excessive heat is the result of a large, strong high-pressure system centered over Arizona, which is keeping the Southwestern U.S. hot almost everywhere except within a few miles of the coast.

The heat has heightened fire conditions in the West.

The Lake fire in the Angeles National Forest, above Lake Hughes, had grown to 17,862 acres and was 12% contained as of Sunday morning. At least 12 homes and commercial buildings had been destroyed. The Ranch 2 fire north of Azusa had burned at least 2,256 acres.

The Loyalton fire, which started Friday evening in the Tahoe National Forest near California’s border with Nevada, grew to 20,000 acres with zero containment as of Sunday morning.

By Laura Newberry, Los Angeles Times. Times staff writers Alex Wigglesworth and Paul Duginski contributed to this report.

Bay Area NewsCaliforniasan francisco news

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

In his extensive filming of The City during the pandemic, Eric Goodfield said he has been “observing how the environment affects the behavior of people.” (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Filmmaker Eric Goodfield fixes lens on SF’s COVID days

140 days of shooting in The City made for ‘greatest adventure’

Most Read