Palo Alto Utilities and the California Independent System Operator (ISO) officials are renewing an appeal for electrical conservation Sunday and Monday even as energy consumption soars amid record-setting temperatures around the Bay Area and all of California.
The request was the second the city utility had made in less than 24 hours.
"All electric customers statewide are asked to conserve energy the rest of tonight and this weekend to help us avoid potential power outages. The most critical peak energy demand time is from 2-9 p.m. each day. We can all do our part!" the utilities department wrote on Twitter on Saturday afternoon.
"The #ISO is planning for potential power outages w/o significant energy conservation. … Precool your home, avoid charging vehicles and using major appliances during this period," the utility wrote on Sunday afternoon.
With the excessive heat, increased electricity demand and wildfires taking out transmission lines, system energy supplies could be up to 4,000 megawatts short on Sunday evening, California ISO officials said on Twitter. The agency asked the public to conserve as much as possible from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the hope of avoiding or at least limiting rolling power outages.
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," Newsom said in a statement. "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.