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Heads Up for Power Outages, Manhattan Beach

Aug 18, 2020 06:03PM ● By Mb News Staff

Manhattan Beach is being warned to prepare for possible power outages due to the current heat wave and stress on the electricity grid.

A statewide Flex Alert is now in effect for Tuesday and Wednesday from 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) issues a Flex Alert when the electricity grid is under stress because of generation or transmission outages or from persistent hot temperatures. Consumers are urged to voluntarily conserve electricity to help avoid CAISO rotating outages.

Additionally, Manhattan Beach has received notice that Southern California Cal Edison will be shutting down power for one hour in every city in LA County. In Manhattan Beach, it is expected to affect East Manhattan Beach from the south side of Manhattan Beach Blvd to Artesia Blvd. (see map above) sometime Tuesday or Wednesday.

Please note: For residents or business owners who want to learn more about public utilities including trash, gas, and energy, please attend a free Zoominar (click link to see registration page) sponsored by the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

CAISO System Under Stress

California’s record-breaking persistent heatwave has put extraordinary strain on the ISO electric system, as air conditioners are working harder and longer to keep spaces cool during the high temperatures. Because of high heat and limited energy supplies, rotating power outages are likely over the next two days. The CAISO credits energy conservation from consumers for averting expected power outages on Monday and urges Californians to continue being thoughtful about energy use during this prolonged and extreme heatwave.

The CAISO declared a Stage 2 Emergency on Monday afternoon to prepare utilities to start rotating power outages throughout California. Rotating outages prevent a more severe and widespread loss of power. But cloud cover, along with conservation efforts, pushed demand down and stopped the grid operator from ordering load shedding.

With Tuesday's temperatures forecast above average again, consumers are again asked to take  the stress off the grid by lowering energy use between the hours of 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., when temperatures remain high and the sun is setting, removing thousands of megawatts of solar power from the system. Conservation efforts during these times can prevent more desperate measures, such as rotating power outages, or generator equipment failures that can lead to more unplanned severe losses of power.

The CAISO has noted that reducing energy use during the hot time of the day is a hardship, especially for those working and schooling at home. However, if a large number of consumers do their part in small ways, conservation can make a difference, according to the CAISO.

Between 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., the CAISO is urging consumers to:

·       Set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees, if health permits

·       Defer use of major appliances

·       Turn off unnecessary lights

·       Unplug unused electrical devices

·       Close blinds and drapes

·       Use fans when possible

·       Limit time the refrigerator door is open

Consumers can also take steps to prepare for the Flex Alert by doing the following before 3:00 PM:

·       “Pre-cool” homes or lower air conditioning thermostats

·       Charge electric vehicles

·       Charge mobile devices and laptops

·       Run dishwashers, washing machines, and other major appliances

·       Set pool pumps to run in the morning or during the night

Visit Southern California Edison for information about whether you could be subject to a CAISO rotating outage or call (800) 611-1911. Consumers may also view information on System Alerts, Warnings, and Emergencies, follow grid conditions in real-time at California ISO’s Today’s Outlook, and receive details on Flex Alerts, and electricity conservation tips, at the CAISO’s Flex Alert website.

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