Californians urged to conserve power Thursday amid excessive heat

California’s power grid operator called for voluntary conservation of electricity Thursday as high heat gripped the state.

The California Independent System Operator issued a Flex Alert for the period from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. due to an expected increase in electricity demand, primarily from use of air conditioning.

Late afternoon and early evening is when the grid is most stressed and solar power production falls.

In mid-August, a heat wave strained the grid to the point that the operator ordered utilities to implement rolling blackouts.

The heat is being produced by a ridge of high pressure covering the entire West and extending into Alaska, the National Weather Service said.

Numerous daily heat records were set Wednesday. In an example of the extremes, the weather service noted that in just 30 minutes the temperature at a location in Santa Barbara shot up from 75 degrees to 90 degrees.

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