Flex Alert: Tracker shows how close we are to overloading the power grid

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Wednesday, September 7, 2022
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As we enter the peak of the heat wave today, there's a risk we might overload the power grid. This tracker shows how close we are to the tipping point in real-time.

FRESNO, Calif. -- As Central California reaches the peak of its heat wave Tuesday, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) has issued a Flex Alert, asking Californians to conserve energy to avoid overloading the grid.

The ISO oversees the state's power grid and infrastructure. In the afternoon hours on hot days, when most people are running air conditioners and high-energy appliances, power use is highest, putting the most pressure on California's infrastructure.

The agency created a real-time tracker that shows how close we are to that tipping point.

The available capacity for the state is about 51,000 megawatts. On Tuesday, we're forecasted to peak around 52,079.

As of 3:30 p.m., demand was around 51,400 megawatts. The number is expected to keep climbing as temperatures heat up.

A screenshot shows how demand compared to overall power grid capacity as of 6 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2022.

A screenshot shows how demand compared to overall power grid capacity as of 6 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2022.

A screenshot shows how demand compared to overall power grid capacity as of 6 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2022.

See how current demand compares to our maximum capacity by viewing Cal ISO's tracker.

If demand on the grid if expected to exceed capacity, the state sometimes triggers rolling blackouts to conserve energy, as they did in the late summer of 2020.

It's supposed to stay hot through Friday.