May 26, 2020

Heat wave less taxing on power grid because electricity use down overall

Heat wave less taxing on power grid because electricity use down overall


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — Central California is riding our first heat wave of the year with few problems as far our electricity system.

As of Tuesday evening, there have been several outages, but none affecting more than a few households at one time.

PG&E spokesperson Denny Boyles says, “The grid is a mechanical device and sometimes mechanical devices will fail.   We do see them fail during extreme heat waves.”

High heat has a history of interrupting electrical service in California because demand can exceed capacity.

Different this year, however, is an overall reduction of electricity use system-wide. California’s ISO, which manages the grid, reports that since the beginning of shelter-in-place, electricity use has dropped 7.4% at peak times.

Their report is available here.

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