LOS ANGELES (AP) — Operators of California’s power grid called for electricity conservation Wednesday as high temperatures hit much of the state, including scorching weather under a dome of high pressure over the Mojave Desert.
The California Independent System Operator asked consumers to use less power Wednesday and Thursday, especially during the peak demand period of 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Electricity supplies were expected to be tight because of increased air conditioner use and because California is seeing reduced power imports from neighboring states with high temperatures, CAISO spokesman Anne Gonzales said.
Flex Alerts are a voluntary level of conservation. People are urged to set air conditioner thermostats at 78 degrees or higher, to use fans, close curtains, turn off unneeded lights and use major appliances only in the morning or late evening when it is cooler and there is less demand for electricity.
The only previous Flex Alert this year was on June 20 and consumers voluntarily reduced electricity demand by 530 megawatts, roughly enough to power 400,000 homes, Gonzales said.
The National Weather Service issued an excessive-heat warning for a vast swath of southeastern California, from the Eastern Sierra through the Mojave Desert to the Mexican border.
Heat advisories were posted in adjacent regions including the Coachella Valley and the Anza Borrego desert.
The town of Needles on Interstate 40 at the Colorado River baked at 115 degrees at 1 p.m.
Death Valley was expected to record a high temperature of 125 degrees by Thursday, the NWS said.
The Central Valley sizzled in triple digits from Redding to Bakersfield.