As electricity demand may have hit a record high for the state on Tuesday amid a prolonged heat wave, California’s independent system operator warned residents to be prepared for possible rotating blackouts in the evening.
Officials with CAISO, which manages electricity on the state’s high-voltage transmission lines, predict demand will top 52,000 megawatts Tuesday night as the Bay Area and other locations in the state have experienced triple-digit temperatures for several days in a row. Monday’s peak demand was 49,020 megawatts.
CAISO says it expects to declare Energy Emergency Alert 3 around 5:30 p.m., a procedural decision that moves it away from a rotating blackout order. If power reserves are depleted, the electric grid operator says it will order utilities such as PG&E to begin rotating outages until demand matches available supplies.
Stanford University does not expect its main campus to be included in the planned outages, but its Redwood City campus could be impacted. Updates will be posted on the university’s emergency information page.
PG&E had more than 12,000 customers reporting outages in the Bay Area shortly before 4 p.m. Tuesday, including more than 8,200 in the East Bay, utilities spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian said.