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CA's Grid's Close Call
It's only a rehearsal though. Today will be even worse.
California is currently experiencing day seven of a record multi-day heat wave coinciding with the busy Labor Day weekend. Users have been advised to reduce power consumption between the hours of 4 pm and 9 pm for several days in a row and now these alerts are asking for an extra hour - until 10pm.
Social media has been buzzing about the b-word, blackouts - specifically rotating blackouts.
For those of us without AC units (or heat pumps, I suppose) it’s been a rough few days as the internal temperature of buildings has risen but not dropped back down. Yesterday I measured 91 degrees on both walls and floors, today it dropped down to 87 degrees. Internal air temperature has not dropped below 90 since Friday. Fans only go so far.
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Gridwise, things have been incredibly jarring to watch. Forecasts and capacities pushing the high 40s and mid 50 MW range are next to unheard of. Today (Tuesday) is supposed to be even higher.
As for what happened yesterday (Monday) during the “flex alert” here are a few noteworthy items.
Demand temporarily exceeded the forecasted peak but still stayed under what CAISO marked as the current capacity. (17:40 PDT)
CAISO went into EEA2, the second most severe state of emergency, which was later extended to 9 pm.
Fifteen-minute marginal costs were, uh “up there” but a bit too. (18:05 PDT)
CAISO gets even more serious about asking users to reduce their use (19:00 PDT)
CA Department of Water Resources (CA DWR) fires up some of the emergency generators they received last year. (19:01 PDT)
Today is going to be even more interesting: