A flex alert was called for the afternoon of July 9 in the face of another round of intense heat. “As a result of higher load, and supply forecasted to be tighter than expected on Friday, consumers are asked to voluntarily conserve electricity from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.,” the California Independent System Operator announced Thursday. Curbing energy use will reduce the strain on the grid during the evening hours when the sun is setting and later while demand remains high.
The California Senate confirmed the appointment of Darcie Houck to the California Public Utilities Commission, the agency announced last week. The former California Energy Commission chief counsel was appointed to the CPUC by Gov. Gavin Newsom Feb. 9. Houck fills the vacancy left by Liane Randolph, who became the California Air Resources Board chair, replacing Mary Nichols. Commissioner Houck said she looks forward to addressing energy and communications reliability, fighting climate change, mitigating utility involved wildfires, and ensuring social and environmental justice considerations in all of our policies.”
In the midst of new wildfires, President Joe Biden met virtually with Gov. Gavin Newsom, other western state governors, and CEOs of major utilities, including Edison International to discuss improved fire prevention and risk reduction this year. Biden announced June 30 a $37 million grant to California to support fire mitigation efforts. Newsom joined the remote meeting near the Lava Fire in Siskiyou Count. As of July 5, it had burnt more than 25,000 acres and was 72% contained. The president also said federal firefighter pay was being raised to $15 an hour, and they would be given retention incentives. In addition, the hiring of temporary firefighters was being extended.