(FiveNation.com)- California’s power grid operators asked the people of the state to conserve power on Thursday for a few hours as the state faced record-breaking heatwaves. A “Flex Alert” was issued by the California Independent System Operator between 5pm and 10pm on Thursday to ease some pressure off the grid, asking residents to change their air conditioning systems to 78 degrees or higher, and switching off any appliances or lights that they don’t need.
The power grid operators said on Wednesday that the grid was stable and they were not expecting any rotating power outages because of the heat, but still encouraged residents to take steps to ensure that the state didn’t face any long-term issues.
Like much of the rest of the United States, California has experienced summer weather this spring. What would normally be mild spring days have been scorching hot summer days, and on Tuesday, Palm Springs hit 120 degrees – a new records. That’s four degrees more than the last record which was set all the way back in 1961.
Another Flex Alert was then issued for Friday, asking residents to turn off appliances, close blinds to keep rooms cool without using air conditioning, and to use fans instead of AC. Residents were also recommended they “pre-cool” their homes overnight so that less energy can be used during the day.
Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsome said his state is working to increase the storage capacity of the grid, saying that he hopes to increase the existing 800 megawatts of storage capacity to 1,000 megawatts by September of this year.
Flex Alerts are used in California to prevent emergency measures like rotating power outages by ensuring that during periods of tight demand – when people are using more electricity to keep homes and offices cool – there is enough electricity to go around.