Power lines stretch across the desert in Imperial Valley.
Power lines stretch across the desert in Imperial Valley. Photo by Chris Stone

With above-normal temperatures forecast for much of California and the West, the manager of the state’s power grid extended the statewide Flex Alert for a second day, calling for voluntary electricity conservation.

The California Independent System Operator said the Flex Alert that began Wednesday will be in effect again from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday “due to predicted high energy demand and tight supplies on the power grid.”

High temperatures are expected through Friday across the western United States due to a high-pressure system over the Great Basin.

“Excessive heat warnings remain in effect over the Mojave Desert while heat advisories are also posted over most of the interior valleys of California,” the National Weather Service said. “Record high temperatures can be expected each afternoon at many locations.”

In San Diego County, highs on Thursday were forecast to be 75 to 80 at the beaches, 83 to 88 farther inland, 86 to 91 in the western valleys, 94 to 99 near the foothills, 90 to 96 in the mountains and 105 to 110 in the deserts.

The ISO said the Flex Alert was issued because of expected high demand for air conditioning during the hot afternoons.

“The increased demand can make electricity supplies tight and strain the power grid, making conservation essential,” the ISO said.

During the Flex Alert, consumers are asked to raise their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, and take other voluntary measures, including avoiding the use of major appliances and unnecessary lights.

To take full advantage of all available supply, the ISO also issued a restricted maintenance request on Wednesday, notifying power companies to avoid taking generators offline for routine maintenance.

“Conserving electricity during the late afternoon and early evening is crucial because that is when the grid is most stressed due to higher demand and declining solar energy production,” the ISO said.

So far this year California has not experienced any rotating blackouts as was the case in 2021 during several heat waves.

Updated at 5:55 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021

City News Service contributed to this article.

Chris Jennewein

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