The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has lifted its Stage 2 Emergency Declaration, which means that the organization does not believe there is a threat of a power shortage.
California #ISO lifts Stage 2 Emergency declaration. Thank you for conserving.— California ISO (@California_ISO) August 18, 2020
California is in the middle of a sweltering heat wave that has put a serious strain on the state's power grid. On Friday and Saturday, the power shortage was so dire that utilities had to implement rolling blackouts for the first time in 19 years.
Thankfully on Monday evening, the ISO tweeted that the demand for power had turned out lower than predicted, which meant fewer people had to face outages.
#FlexAlert #energyconservation is helping! The #ISO power grid is seeing lower demand than earlier forecast, due to lower temps and conservation. https://t.co/lp3cWyzmK6 Reduce #energy use until 10 p.m. https://t.co/16FSD3wS9j— California ISO (@California_ISO) August 18, 2020
California ISO lifted its emergency declaration shortly before 8 p.m. Monday, two hours after the state's power grid operator had warned that it expected to implement rotating outages that could have left millions of Californians in the dark for up to two hours.
California ISO would have ordered utilities to shed their power loads as demand for electricity to cool homes soared. The operator had said as many as 3.3 million homes and businesses would be affected but later reduced that to around a half-million before cancelling the option.
An irate Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an emergency proclamation Sunday allowing some energy users and utilities to tap backup energy sources. He acknowledged Monday that the state failed to predict and plan for the energy shortages.
"I am not pleased with what's happened," he said during a news briefing. "You shouldn't be pleased with the moment that we're in here in the state of California."
Newsom also sent a letter demanding that the state Energy Commission, state Public Utilities Commission and the California Independent System Operator investigate the blackouts.
On Monday, the demand for power in California peaked at about 3 pm, consuming 45,169 megawatts (MW) of electricity, just below the forecasted peak of 45,844 MW, according to data on ISO's website, and well below the available capacity of 50,508 MW.
According to ISO, the lower demand is due to lower than expected temperatures and success in power conservation efforts.
During the weekend, ISO had declared a Stage 3 emergency, issued a statewide Flex Alert, and warned residents to expect rolling power blackouts through Wednesday.
Despite Monday's success, the state could still face rolling blackouts on Tuesday and Wednesday, so the ISO is calling on Californians to continue to conserve energy.
Here are some tips it provided:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.