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California ISO issues longest 'Flex Alert' as Hurricane Kay limits solar energy capacity

Operators of California's power grid urge utilities customers to cut down their power use from 3-10 p.m. -- an extra two hours compared to previous Flex Alerts

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Hurricane Kay is expected to limit California's solar energy capacity as the state enters its ninth consecutive day of 'Flex Alerts,' said California Independent Systems Operator (ISO) president and CEO Elliot Mainzer.

With Thursday's forecasted daytime temperatures ranging from 105-112°, Mainzer announced the longest Flex Alert period so far this season. Utilities customers are now being asked to conserve energy between 3-10 p.m.

Both wildfire smoke and the cloud cover from nearby Hurricane Kay are creating uncertainty about solar power production in afternoon hours when temperatures rise toward their peaks, according to Mainzer.

"The hurricane is expected to produce rain and strong easterly winds, increasing fire risks for areas in Southern California," he said.

Wednesday's system-wide load was 50,184 megawatts, while Thursday's is forecasted to be around 50,000 megawatts.

According to the California ISO, the state's power grid capacity for Thursday sits around 56,000.

WATCH: Sep 8 - Grid update from Elliot Mainzer, CEO & President

Power Outage Resources:

  • PG&E outages can be found HERE.
  • SMUD outages can be found HERE.
  • Outage information for Turlock Irrigation District can be found HERE.
  • Outage information for Roseville Electric can be found HERE.

Here's a map of California statewide outages using data from  Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&)E and Southern California Edison (SCE).

PG&E customers can check if a power outage is likely in their area HERE.

Officials are asking Californians to do the following before 4 p.m.:

  • Pre-cool home by setting the thermostat to as low as 72 degrees
  • Use major appliances, including:
  • Washer and dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Oven and stove for pre-cooking and preparing meals
  • Adjust blinds and drapes to cover windows

They're also asking Californians to do the following between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.:

  • Set the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits
  • Avoid using major appliances
  • Turn off all unnecessary lights

WATCH MORE: Power Outage in Lodi: Power restored after substation loss caused outage

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