The Sunrise Powerlink was crucial during the five-day heat wave. Photo courtesy SDG&E
The Sunrise Powerlink was crucial during the five-day heat wave. Photo courtesy SDG&E

The five-day heat wave caused San Diegans to use record amounts of electricity on Monday and Tuesday, San Diego Gas & Electric reported Friday.

The utility said all-time, back-to-back peak demand records of 4,781 megawatts on Monday and 4,890 megawatts on Tuesday were set, though conservation efforts by customers limited strain on the electric grid.

“The last several days brought severe weather conditions to SDG&E’s service area and we are grateful to our customers, community partners and our first responders who helped keep San Diego safe and displayed remarkable patience and responsiveness to our requests for help to conserve energy,” said Steven D. Davis, SDG&E’s president and COO.

On Monday, about 70 megawatts were save through residential and commercial demand-response programs. SDG&E’s business customers played a major role in achieving significant demand reduction, resulting in savings of about 40 megawatts Monday, with Solar Turbines alone accounting for 6 megawatts.

The utility said it worked closely with the California Independent System Operator to monitor the high demand and ensure the transmission system was running smoothly. In addition to all available local generation resources – both large power plants and smaller peaking units that use natural gas – SDG&E relied heavily on the Sunrise Powerlink to import 450 megawatts of new solar and wind capacity that was generated in the Imperial Valley .

SDG&E, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, serves 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and 861,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.