The power grid in the US is old and tenuous, and with the current "heat dome" that has settled over the southwestern part of the country, the risk of demand outstripping supply is very real. High-temperature records were set in several states yesterday:
Death Valley, CA: 127
Las Vegas, NV: 112
Palm Springs, CA: 121
Phoenix, AZ: 116
California utility companies have asked citizens to reduce power usage as much as possible or face rotating power outages to manage the strain on the grid.
The California Independent System Operator (ISO), the grid operator, said it issued the so-called "Flex Alert" due to high temperatures across the western United States, reduced electricity imports into the state, tight natural gas supplies in Southern California and high wildfire risk.
The ISO's alert followed an earlier notice by Southern California Gas Co (SoCalGas), the gas utility for the southern part of the state.
SoCalGas issued a gas curtailment watch on Monday, notifying customers to be prepared to reduce gas use if needed, with power generators expected to burn more fuel this week than usual to keep air conditioners humming.
SoCalGas, a unit of California energy company Sempra Energy, said the watch would remain in effect until further notice…