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ISO asks media partners to promote electricity conservation, especially in Southern CA

June 15, 2012 (Folsom) -- The California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) is making it easier for media and the public to track power grid conditions and conserve electricity, if necessary. The real-time information is just a click away thanks to new web tools on the ISO homepage:

Putting the information to use is important this summer as the grid operator enlists media to help urge electricity conservation should grid conditions arise that strain the system in Southern California.  The region is at risk of local reliability issues as a result of the extended outage at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station—the area’s largest power supplier. Conservation may be critical in portions of the LA basin, southern Orange County and San Diego County.

“Thanks to a collaborative effort to fast-track mitigation measures, the industry is in the best possible position to face the summer as long as customers do their part to conserve during high demand periods,” said ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich. “When the ISO issues a Flex Alert, it is essential that you reduce power to make sure that we can maintain reliable power for everyone.  Listen to local newscasts and media will tell you when and where we need the targeted conservation efforts.”

Media and the public can receive Flex Alerts and other ISO news by following us on Twitter or sign up for Flex Alert bulletins and other ISO news releases by using our RSS news feed or the new Notify Me sign up button.

Funded by the investor-owned utilities and authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission, the Flex Alert educational and alert campaign includes on-air commercials as well as outreach to ethnic media outlets and community-based organizations.  Radio ads are currently airing in Los Angeles and San Diego.  Television ads begin broadcasting June 18. Go to the  Flex Alert website or ISO grid status page for more information.

In addition to reactivating Flex Alerts, the ISO outlined last March key elements of an urgent contingency plan to help offset the San Onofre outage.  Nearly every piece of the action plan is now in place thanks to help from the Governor’s Office, local utilities and state and federal agencies.  The plan included the restart of Huntington Beach units 3 and 4, which occurred on May 11. The units are now available to generate 440 MW of capacity for the LA Basin and enable 350 MW of additional imported power to transfer into San Diego.
Another component included the now completed 230 kilovolt (kV) Barre-Ellis transmission project as well as the Sunrise Powerlink 500 kV project, which is expected to begin commercial operation soon. These important transmission upgrades will allow the ISO to move additional imported power into the region.

Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric both launched new demand response programs for the summer. While participation is voluntary even up to the time it is called, the electricity reduction by both residential and business customers will also help maintain reliability during peak demand periods. 

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