“There’s 2,200 megawatts of electricity that would have been available at San Onofre, so as we compare where we are this summer to last summer we’re marginally more challenged,” said Eric Schmitt, Vice President of Operations for California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO).
Schmitt said Tuesday there are adequate reserves, but things could get tight in a heat wave and energy users should be prepared for a Flex Alert.
“You can turn off your lights, move your thermostat up to 78 degrees, keep those heavy appliances for later in the evening when the loads are a little lower and all those things really make a difference,” he said.
Another concern is that it’s been exceptionally dry and fires impacting transmission lines could cause significant problems. Officials said steps have been taken to prepare including the addition of a new transformer at the Encino Power Plant and new capacitors to support voltage in Penasquitos.
“We’ve gone as far east as Yuma to add some capacitors to allow the entire system additionally to bring more power in and to be much more efficient and to have less congestion on the grid,” said Michael Niggli, President of SDG&E.
Officials expect there may be between six and 12 days where customers will be asked to conserve.