California Issues Flex Alert for Friday

California Issues Flex Alert for Friday
A flex alert is issued by the ISO when the electricity grid is under stress because of generation or transmission outages, or from persistent hot temperatures.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has issued a statewide call for voluntary electricity conservation for the third straight day.

The most recent ‘Flex Alert’, as the action has been dubbed, was implemented for September 2, from 4pm to 9pm. A flex alert is issued by the ISO when the electricity grid is under stress because of generation or transmission outages, or from persistent hot temperatures, ISO’s flex alert website states.

“With triple-digit temperatures in much of California and the West, the power grid operator is again expecting high electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use, and needs voluntary conservation steps to help balance supply and demand,” the flex alert site notes.

“The flex alert covers that time of day when the grid is most stressed from higher demand and less solar energy. During that time, consumers are urged to conserve power by setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits, avoiding use of major appliances and turning off unnecessary lights,” the site adds.

In addition to the most recent flex alert, a Restricted Maintenance Operations remains in place through September 6, each day from noon to 10pm. This declaration orders market participants to avoid any scheduled routine maintenance during those times to ensure all available resources are in service.

ISO called for a flex alert for September 1 and for August 31. The previous flex alert prior to this was issued for August 17. A flex alert was also issued for September 8 and 9 last year.

When consumers reduce electricity use during a flex alert, it can prevent more dire emergency measures, including rotating power outages, according to the flex alert website. A flex alert is typically issued in the summer when extremely hot weather drives up electricity use, making the available power supply scarce, the site notes. This usually happens in the evening hours when renewable energy resources are no longer available, but temperatures remain high and consumers are returning home and switching on air conditioners, lights, and appliances, the site adds.

The California ISO is a nonprofit, public benefit corporation, which manages the flow of electricity along the high-voltage electric grid for 80 percent of California. The state’s three investor-owned utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison, are responsible for delivering electricity from the high-voltage grid to its customers.

Try to Reduce Your Consumption

In a video posted on the Office of the Governor of California’s Twitter page on Thursday, Gavin Newsom said the flex alert “just asks you if you can do a little bit more”.

“Try not to use too much electricity in those key hours and the key hours are between 4pm and 9pm in the evening. Try to reduce your consumption to the extent possible,” Newsom stated in the video.

“We’ve headed these issues off in the past, we did so last year quite successfully, I’m confident we’ll do it again,” Newsom added in the video.



Earlier this week, Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency to exist in California due to the “extreme heat event”.

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