PG&E warned customers earlier today that another round of blackouts could occur at 5 p.m. and last until 10 p.m. The utility says that no customer should be affected overnight.RELATED: What to Do Now to Prepare for a Planned Power Outage
The outages are expected to impact customers in parts of the Central Coast and Central Valley, including Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Joaquin counties.
Continuous power outages are called because the state’s energy supply is not sufficient to adequately meet the anticipated demand during the statewide heat wave. Other state electric utilities are expected to perform similar rotating outages.
In a press release, Michael Lewis, interim president of PG&E said:
“This is a statewide issue that we are working with CAISO and many stakeholders to resolve. We know how important it is to have access to reliable food during these times, and we are doing everything we can to limit the impacts. Our team is working diligently to keep these rotating interruptions as short as possible so that there is no more impact on the network. We appreciate the patience of our customers as we work to restore power for everyone tonight. We urge all of our customers to take immediate action to reduce their energy consumption. ”
On Friday evening, PG&E was tasked by the California Independent System Operator (ISO) to initiate rotating interruptions statewide.
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The Stage 3 emergency declaration was called on Friday and Saturday after extreme heat increased demand for electricity across California, prompting ISO to draw on its operating reserves for that supply can meet demand.
ISO declared a level 3 emergency at 6:28 p.m., due to increased demand for electricity, the unexpected loss of a 470 MW power plant and the loss of 1,000 MW of wind power. Electricity was restored at 6:48 p.m., as wind resources increased. https://t.co/HpLZ3uGjB0
– California ISO (@California_ISO) August 16, 2020
Earlier this week, the state issued a Flex Alert, warning residents that this week’s heat wave could strain the state’s electricity grid.
San Jose teacher Mariana Garcia is one of more than thousands of PG&E customers affected by rotating power outages since Friday. Unlike many of those who got their power back this morning, she has been without power for over 24 hours and her biggest concern now is not having her lesson plan ready for her students.
“Usually what happens is over the weekend you start posting your stuff to google in class and I’m not able to do that so my fingers crossed this Monday morning to prepare my classes, ”said Mariana Garcia.
In East Bay, at one point, nearly 8,000 people were in the dark. With temperatures reaching over 105 degrees, driving has been the saving grace for some.
RELATED: Bay Area Towns See Record High Temperatures As Heat Wave Continues in Region
“The only air conditioning we have is my car. Luckily my tank is full and we sailed around Livermore, ”said Stephen Coronado.
The heat also increases the number of emergency calls. In Contra Costa County, the Fire Protection District is preparing to respond to potential fires.
“They expect thunderstorms with lightning strikes. If we have lighting during this hot weather, we are concerned about how many vegetation fires we will have, ”said Tracie Dutter, fire prevention captain for the Contra County Fire Protection District. Costa.
A red flag warning will go into effect at 11 p.m. Saturday night in Contra Costa County.
RELATED: Extreme Heat Wave Bakes Bay Area After Hit By Power Outages Amid Record High Temperatures
“We asked for additional staff. We already have an additional engine. We called our Crew-12 who is our crew for the wildfires. We have an additional chief officer and our bulldozer on standby, ”said Captain Dutter.
PG&E says virtually all of the impacted should be restored by Saturday night, but “some customers are still running out of power due to separate heat-related issues.”
PG&E strongly encourages all of its customers to save energy until next Wednesday and offers these tips:
- Raise the thermostat: Cool homes and use air conditioners more in the morning. Set the thermostat to 78 degrees when you’re home for the rest of the day, health permitting. Rotate it up to 85 degrees or turn it off when you are not at home.
- Use a Ceiling Fan: Turn on a ceiling fan when using the air conditioner, which will allow the thermostat to be raised about 4 degrees to save on cooling costs without reducing comfort. Turn off fans and lights when you leave the room.
- Cover the windows: Use blinds and awnings so the air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard to cool the house.
- Avoid using the oven: cook on the stovetop instead, use a microwave or grill outside.
- Limit the opening of refrigerators, which are the main users of electricity in most homes. The average refrigerator is opened 33 times a day.
- Clean clothes and dishes early: Use large, energy-hungry appliances like washing machines and dishwashers earlier in the day or late at night after 10 p.m.
PG&E also offers tips for staying safe and cool:
- Plan Ahead: Check the weather forecast to prepare for hot days.
- Keep a list of emergency contacts: Keep a list of emergency phone numbers.
- Have a buddy system: register the elderly or people with access and function needs.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, even if you are not thirsty.
- Stay cool: Take a cool shower or bath, and wear light, loose fitting, light-colored clothing.
- Stay Safe: Avoid direct sunlight and avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.
For the latest information on PG&E outages in the Bay Area, click here.
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