SAN FRANCISCO - So a Flex Alert has been issued in California amid a heat wave, but what exactly does that mean?
What is a Flex Alert?
A Flex Alert is a call to conserve electricity during a heat wave when power usage overtakes electricity supply and other challenging grid conditions.
Who issues a Flex Alert?
A Flex Alert is issued by the California Independent System Operator (ISO), a nonprofit corporation that operates the high voltage grid in California and parts of eight western states. The ISO doesn't own the transmission lines or power plants, but tells them when to generates electricity and how much and where it will be delivered. It's regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington. Click here for more information about ISO.
How is a Flex Alert communicated?
Flex Alerts are posted on the ISO website, sent in direct emails and texts to consumers who sign up for notifications. They're also posted to Twitter and other social media platforms.
What can trigger a Flex Alert?
Some reasons may include high peak demand, unplanned power plant outages, fires that cause transmission line overloads, losses or limitations and humid, hot weather and heat storms.
When is a Flex Alert issued?
A Flex Alert is usually issued a day in advance of when conservation is needed. However, grid emergencies can happen suddenly, so if conservation is needed, the ISO a Flex Alert with little or no advance notification.
Click here for more information about Flex Alerts and for some conservation tips from California ISO.