EVs make the California IOS Flex Alert list
The California Independent System Operator (ISO) issues a Flex Alert when the electricity grid is under stress because of generation or transmission outages, or from persistent hot temperatures. In my Los Angeles County neighborhood, triple digit temperatures began on 8/31/2022 and is forecasted to continue on through 9/7/2022.
On 8/31/2022, the IOS issued a statewide Flex Alert from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., due to high temperatures pushing up energy demand and tightening available power supplies. With excessive heat in the forecast across much of the state and Western U.S., the grid operator expected high electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use, and called for voluntary conservation steps to help balance supply and demand.
The Flex Alert Is scheduled between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., when the grid is most stressed from higher demand and less solar energy. During that time, consumers are urged to conserve power by setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits, avoiding use of major appliances and turning off unnecessary lights. They should also avoid charging electric vehicles while the Flex Alert is in effect.
Yesterday, September 1, 2022, the California ISO extended their Flex Alert as extreme heat continued with an urgent need to conserve electricity from 4 to 9 p.m.
Here’s the ISO Flex Alert Conservation Actions.
Before 4 p.m.: • Pre-cool home by setting the thermostat to as low as 72 degrees • Use major appliances, including: o Washer and dryer o Dishwasher o Oven and stove for pre-cooking and preparing meals • Charge electric vehicles • Adjust blinds and drapes to cover windows From 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.: • Set thermostat to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits • Avoid using major appliances and charging electric vehicles • Turn off all unnecessary lights
I’ve pulled together the following table showing and comparing the supply and demand changes in the ISO Today’s Outlook for September 1, 2022.
**as of as of as of as of** **CALIFORNIA ISO 8:15am 12:35 pm 5:45 pm 9:00 pm** **TODAY’S OUTLOOK 9/1/2022 MW (a) MW MW** Current Capacity 51,139 55,155 54,749 49,482 Current Demand 31,796 38,829 47,325 41,543 Available next 1-4 hrs.(b) 14,819 12,747 5,229 5,148 to 19,343 to 16,326 to 7,424 to 7,939 Current Reserves 3,255 3,481 3,677 3,390 Forecasted peak 5:45 pm 47,153 46,340 47,195 47,195 Tomorrow’s forecasted peak 45,719 46,085 46,805 46,085 % of % of % of & of CURRENT SUPPLY Total Total Total Total Natural Gas 15,201 45.8% 18,120 45.6% 24,704 51.8% 23,649 56.0% Renewables 9,489 28.6% 15,089 38.0% 10,757 22.5% 4,841 11.5% Imports 5,223 15.7% 2,795 7.0% 4,715 9.9% 7,193 17.0% Nuclear 2,259 6.8% 2,264 5.7% 2,263 4.7% 2,261 5.4% Large Hydro 1,050 3.2% 1,449 3.6% 3,940 8.3% 3,424 8.1% Coal 3 0.0% 3 0.0% 3 0.0% 1 0.0% Batteries -859 0.0% -595 0.0% 0 0.0% 853 2.0% % of % of % of RENEWALS Total Total Total Solar 12,955 86.4% 6,896 64.1% 223 4.6% Geothermal 858 5.7% 858 8.0% 866 17.9% Wind 460 3.1% 2,200 20.5% 2,927 60.5% Biomass 377 2.2% 345 3.2% 344 7.1% Biogas 192 1.3% 190 1.8% 196 4.0% Small Hydro 196 1.3% 268 2.5% 285 5.9% Notes: (a) MG Megawatts (b) Includes Reserves
Recently, on 8/25/2022, the California Air Resources Board approved the trailblazing Advanced Clean Cars II rule that sets California on a path to rapidly growing the zero-emission car, pickup truck and SUV market and deliver cleaner air and massive reductions in climate-warming pollution.
The rule establishes a year-by-year roadmap so that by 2035 100% of new cars and light trucks sold in California will be zero-emission vehicles, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
The plan sets targets for the number of new non-gas powered cars sold of 35% by 2026 and 68% four years later.
The state will allow for one-fifth of new car sales after 2035 to be plug-in hybrids that run on batteries and gas.
Needless to say, this ruling among other future demands greatly impacts the current inadequate electricity power grid system infrastructure in place and demands immediate implementation actions in lieu of study after study, given that the year 2035 is only 12 plus years away. Right now, I don’t see anyone grabbing this bull by the horns like the following visionaries and action-oriented doers/implementers among others in the past did tackling ongoing and future infrastructure demands:
Robert Moses (December 18, 1888 – July 29, 1981) was an American urban planner and public official who worked in the New York metropolitan area during the early to mid 20th century. Despite never being elected to any office, Moses was regarded as one of the most powerful individuals in New York City and State government. The grand scale of his infrastructural projects and his philosophy of urban development influenced a generation of engineers, architects, and urban planners nationwide.
William Mulholland (September 11, 1855 – July 22, 1935) was an Irish American self-taught civil engineer who was responsible for building the infrastructure to provide a water supply that allowed Los Angeles to grow into the largest city in California. As the head of a predecessor to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Mulholland designed and supervised the building of the Los Angeles Aqueduct (1905-1913), a 233-mile-long (375 km) system to move water from Owens Valley on the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range to the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.
California Governor Pat Brown (January 5, 1959 – January 2, 1967) was known for his championing of building an infrastructure to meet the needs of the rapidly growing state. As journalist Adam Nagourney reported: "With a jubilant Mr. Brown officiating, California commemorated the moment it became the nation’s largest state, in 1962, with a church-bell-ringing, four-day celebration. He was the boom-boom governor for a boom-boom time: championing highways, universities and, most consequential, a sprawling water network to feed the explosion of agriculture and development in the dry reaches of central and Southern California”, i.e., the California State Water Project.
The clock is ticking, and someone, a doer, needs to quickly step forward and take charge. BTW, California is not alone on this matter.