Heat Wave – CAISO talking points for summer readiness


Starting this week and all summer long, California anticipates some extreme summer heat. The communications team with the California Independent State Operator (CAISO) is planning on focusing messaging on Flex Alert conservation, especially during times of stress on the power grid. In particular, they will be emphasizing the need for conservation and how it can prevent more severe and unplanned outages, as well as what consumers can do to help protect grid reliability.

They are excited to introduce CAISO’s news webpage as a source of reference for up-to-date information, including the Power Grid System Conditions Bulletin, which will be updated in real-time as grid conditions change. The web page also has a series of fact sheets that are a valuable resource on various heat and grid stress topics. There is also B-roll video for you to share with outlets (found at the bottom of the page.)

Social media will be an important tool for getting out the most relevant and timely system updates, Flex Alert notices, and, if needed, stage emergencies. Check out the @California_ISO Twitter feed to stay in the know.

The CAISO team also recently launched its Energy Matters Blog, which will be instrumental for informing the public on situations that don’t require a news release or heat bulletin. CAPIO members, click here to get free access to heat-related talking points.

Talking Points – Summer Outlook and Readiness

  • We expect electricity supply conditions for the upcoming summer to be in better shape than last year. However, the power grid is still susceptible to stress during extreme heat waves that extend across the West.
  • We have more capacity to meet demand than in 2020, which is critical to averting power outages.
  • And we have implemented a series of market redesigns and policy changes in the ISO’s system to mitigate flaws exposed by the extreme heat.
  • But another extreme, persistent and widespread heatwave could cut off import supplies and make energy scarce at certain times.
  • The hydroelectric conditions are also becoming more worrisome, with low snowpack and reservoir levels contributing to shorter supplies and adding to wildfire concerns.
  • We expect to need to rely on consumer conservation to get us through the most challenging times this summer. When we expect high demand and tight supplies, we will announce a Flex Alert, a call for voluntary conservation from 4 to 9 p.m. If everyone does a little to reduce electricity use, it will get us through critical times of stress on the grid.
    • Pre-cool your homes before 4 p.m. and then set the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits.
    • Defer use of major appliances from 4 to 9 p.m.
    • Charge devices and EVs before 4 p.m.

Visit FlexAlert.org for more conservation tips and to sign up for notifications.

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