SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — As the clock ticked past 9 p.m. Thursday, Pacific Gas and Electric customers who had been warned earlier in the evening to anticipate possible rotating power outages could breathe a little easier — and keep their air conditioners humming — as the region sweltered under a record heat wave.
There were scattered small outages around the Bay Area, which KPIX confirmed were heat-related.
While the California Independent System Operator did not call for rotating outages, PG&E officials made the announcement Thursday evening so customers would be prepared.
PG&E officials said up to approximately 121,000 PG&E customers could be impacted. Customers are advised to visit www.pge.com/rotatingoutages to see if their neighborhood might be affected.
Officials did not specify which areas would be impacted by the outage.
“If demand exceeds supply, at the direction of the state’s grid operator, PG&E and other energy companies in the state could be asked to turn off power in order to help prevent larger outages to the grid,” the issued press release read.
Earlier Thursday, the heat led the California Independent System Operator to extend its already announced Flex Alert into Friday, calling for voluntary conservation.
The Cal ISO had already issued a Flex Alert from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, urging people to set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher and avoid using major appliances. Thursday afternoon it announced it would be expanded to include Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The heat event also led Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency in order to to free up additional energy capacity. Newsom signed the emergency declaration Thursday afternoon.
The California ISO has extended its #FlexAlert to Friday, June 18, urging consumers to continue #energyconservation to reduce stress on the power grid due to extreme heat in California and parts of the West. Read the news release: https://t.co/LvTkAOSMkf pic.twitter.com/hbK54ya2j5
— California ISO (@California_ISO) June 17, 2021
However, the system’s CEO says California is unlikely to see a repeat of last summer’s rolling blackouts.
Residents are also advised to avoid using major appliances and to turn off all unnecessary lights. Additional tips can be found at the FlexAlert.org website.
Record temperatures were expected in a number of cities. In the East Bay, Concord, the Tri-Valley and other inland spots headed toward triple digits Thursday.
The National Weather Service has heat advisories in effect for much of the Bay Area, including the San Francisco Bay shoreline and Northern Monterey Bay. Farther inland, an excessive heat warning was in effect, with “dangerously hot” conditions with temperatures in the upper 90s up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit expected.
Even higher “potentially life-threatening temperatures” in the San Joaquin Valley; hottest interior locations may reach or exceed 110 degrees, the weather service said.
The heatwave was the result of a strong ridge of high pressure was parked over the desert southwest and building into California. Thursday will mark the peak of the inland heat, forecasters said.
“Looking at temperatures soaring as we go through our afternoon,” said KPIX 5 meteorologist Mary Lee. ”We are looking at temperatures still hot tomorrow but we will start the downward progression as we head through the next several days.”
HEAT ADVISORIES now expanded to include the San Francisco Bay Shoreline along with the North Bay & South Bay today. EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNINGS in effect for the East Bay Hills & Interior Valleys, North Bay Mountains, Solano County and Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. 🥵 #heatwave pic.twitter.com/4kHXQ41X8N
— Mary Lee (@MaryKPIX) June 17, 2021
Gradual cooling is likely this weekend and into early next week.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued its second Spare the Air Alert in 2021 for unhealthy air conditions Thursday. The district said light winds and hot temperatures along with motor vehicle exhaust are creating the smoggy conditions.