The California Independent System Operator on Tuesday evening declared a level three energy emergency alert, or EEA, indicating the possibility of rotating power outages to stabilize the system, amid record heat levels and electricity demand.
The grid operator issued the alert at 5.17 p.m. on Tuesday, noting that customers could expect to receive notifications if outages were ultimately initiated. However, CAISO ended the alert at 8 p.m. without any load sheds that night, it said in a tweet. The grid operator noted that consumer conservation played a big part in ensuring grid reliability.
Peak electricity demand on the CAISO grid hit 52,061 MW on Tuesday, an all-time record.
The grid operator declared a stage two emergency on Tuesday, urging participants to bid more energy into the power market and enabling CAISO to tap into emergency demand response programs. However, “as grid conditions worsened, energy supplies were determined to be insufficient to cover demand and reserves, and an EEA 3 was declared,” the grid operator said in a press release.
The California grid operator issues a stage three emergency if it concludes that electricity supplies cannot meet demand, at which point it could instruct utilities to initiate outages. Rotating power outages, which are controlled, can help avoid cascading blackouts, the grid operator noted in its press release.
In a Tuesday press release, Pacific Gas & Electric said that it, along with other utilities, had been instructed by CAISO to prepare for possible rotating outages. The utility delivered notice of possible outages Tuesday evening to more than 500,000 customers.