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Officials urge public to conserve power as ‘extreme heat storm’, wildfire damage threatens energy supply

California Independent System Operator officials are renewing an appeal for electrical consumption Sunday and Monday even as energy consumption soars amid record setting temperatures around the Bay Area and all of California.

California ISO said Sunday afternoon on Twitter:

“With today’s excessive heat, increased #electricity demand and #wildfires taking out transmission lines, system energy supplies could be up to 4,000 megawatts short this evening.”

The agency asked the public to conserve as much as possible from 3 to 9 p.m. with the hope of avoiding or at least limiting rolling power outages.

Alameda Municipal Power, the provider for the city of Alameda, said a declaration of a Stage 3 emergency resulting in outages is “likely” in a message to customers Sunday.

Marin Clean Energy issued a similar announcement Sunday and like other providers said California is in a “extreme heat storm.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state is taking “aggressive” steps to free electrical capacity and reduce demand.

“California has always been the canary in the coal mine for climate change, and this weekend’s events only underscore that reality. Wildfires have caused system failures, while near record energy demand is predicted as a multi-state heat wave hits the West Coast for the second time in a matter of weeks.”

Customers are asked to shift the bulk of energy use to late night or early daytime hours.

Steps customers can take include setting air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees, if health permits; deferring use of major appliances; turning off unnecessary lights; unplugging devices not in use; closing blinds and drapes; using fans when possible; and limiting time the refrigerator door is open.

Fires have caused a generator and a solar farm to trip offline, further affecting the state’s power grid.

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