Statewide flex alert issued for 7th straight day

As a record-setting heat wave continues to assert itself throughout the state, Californians again have been asked to lower their use of energy.

The California Independent System Operator, for the seventh straight day, issued a Flex Alert to take effect Tuesday from 4-9 p.m., ending one hour earlier than Monday’s warning. A Flex Alert asks residents to minimize their energy usage during afternoon and evening hours to lessen the strain on the state’s power grid.

The hot air also is remaining relatively stagnant, according to the National Weather Service, trapping smog in the region and prompting a Spare the Air alert for the fourth straight day. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District said it was not clear early Tuesday whether they would issue another one for Wednesday.

The district forecast a day of moderately healthy air on Wednesday, with air-quality index figures expected to be between 51-100 through much of the region.

The Flex Alert comes as the state’s power grid faces perhaps its biggest-ever challenge. On Monday, Cal ISO CEO Elliott Mainzer said they expect a 2,000 to 3,000 megawatt deficit, the highest ever.

“Our goal is to not see that,” Mainzer said during a press conference Monday. “And we’re going to do everything we can to bend that demand curve way beyond that before we get to significant grid disturbances.”

Temperatures on Tuesday were expected to approach or surpass Monday’s, when they reached record-setting marks of 116 in Livermore, 112 in Gilroy, 107 in Redwood City and 104 at the Mineta San Jose Airport.

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