As triple-digit temperatures blanketed the region Friday, power companies from the Inland Empire to Los Angeles worked to keep services operating smoothly. But by late afternoon on Friday that was becoming a challenge.
Early in the day, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials said it has “adequate resources” to meet a higher power demand from the department’s customers over the coming days.
“We’re not planning any sort of brownouts right now,” said LADWP spokesman Albert Rodriguez.
By late Friday afternoon, a map on the department’s website was dotted with power outages throughout the L.A. area, from Sylmar to Westchester. An alert declared that the DWP was “experiencing a high volume of outages,” and that crews were working to restore power.
Across Southern California, in Riverside, utility officials were also monitoring for straing on thier system’s capacity.
“This is the first part of the heat storm, and right now our system is behaving and cooperating properly,” said Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) Company Assistant General Manager George Hanson.
Some programs are already in place to help lighten the load.
The Power Partners program under RPU works in similar ways to the LADWP’s Demand Response Program. From the months of July until September, local business partners agree to reduce energy use during peak demand times as requested by RPU.
DWP officials said this heat wave — which kicked in on Friday with record-shattering temperatures and will continue on Saturday— prompted the utility to prepare for a demand of 6,000 megawatts of power. By comparison, the average energy demand over the last three summers on the DWP’s system peaked at 4,350 megawatts during the day, officials said. The department’s record peak was 6,502 megawatts at 4:15 p.m. on Aug. 31, 2017.
LADWP’s Demand Response Program also helps large businesses and institutions such as the Los Angeles Unified School District “temper down” some of their operations during times of peak power demand.
Power officials across the region were urging customers to conserve energy throughout the afternoon and early evening.
“As we prepare ourselves for extreme weather conditions, we remind our customers to conserve electricity, when possible, while staying safe,” said Martin Adams, LADWP Chief Operating Officer in a statement. “Conserving energy not only can help manage your costs, but it also reduces potential strains on our power grid, which can be caused by overworked air conditioners and other appliances.”
To help conserve energy, officials recommended:— adjust air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees to reduce energy usage during the hottest hours of the day when A/C systems have to work hardestto cool;– reduce power use during the afternoon/early evening hours from 2 to 9 p.m., when energy use is highest;– visit the local library, recreation center, mall, movie theaters or any other air conditioned gathering place to give your air conditioner a rest;– limit use of major appliances during peak hours of the day;– use washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and other heavy appliances during the early morning hours or during evening hours;– close window curtains, shades or blinds during the heat of the day to reduce the extra heat from direct sunlight through windows;– ventilate homes in the early morning and evening by opening windows and doors to clear out the heat and allow cooler air to circulate;– turn off lights and other electrical equipment when they are not inuse; and– unplug “energy vampires” like cell phone chargers, DVD players, microwave ovens and other appliances that use energy even when not in use.
No major outages were reported, but there were several that dotted the region.
Southern California Edison, which serves a huge swath of Southern California, including Orange County, L.A. County and San Bernardino County, said extra crews will be on call and additional staff will monitor the impact on the electrical grid, officials said in a press release.
Planned outages scheduled during the “extreme high heat” are looked at on a case-by-case basis, and after considering public safety and reliability, some maintenance outages might be postponed to a later date, according to the press release.
“Our crews are ready to respond to incidents that may occur due to this record heat wave,“ said SCE Director Tony Edeson in the press release. “Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our customers and employees. We want to remind our customers to stay away from downed power lines and to call 911 immediately.”
SCE customers are advised to call (800) 611-1911 regarding any outage reports or inquiries. They can also use the SCE outages app at sce.com/outages or visit their webpage and social media sites sce.com/staysafe, twitter.com/sce and facebook.com/sce.
Source: Oc Register