California faces rolling blackouts again as 'heat storm' strains electrical grid

CA grid operator calls on state’s utilities to begin cutting power to some customers

Rolling blackouts may return to California as an intense heat wave creates surging demand on the state's electric grid.

The California Independent System Operator, which manages most of the grid in the state, declared a statewide emergency late Friday, and said "excessive electricity use" is placing too much demand on power lines.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

If conditions do not improve, the grid managers warned in a statement that they would elevate the emergency to a higher stage "which will lead to rotating power outages."

The independent system operator said it was "working closely with utilities and neighboring power systems to manage the strain on the grid and to limit any potential power disruptions."

Earlier, the grid managers had asked residents to not use major appliances between 3 and 10 p.m. Friday. The so-called "flex alert" also urged people to turn off unnecessary lights and set air conditioners to no lower than 78 degrees if possible, in the hopes of staving off emergency measures such as rotating power outages.

Read more at the San Francisco Chronicle.