California’s grid operator urged consumers to conserve energy for an eighth straight day on Wednesday, but the state continued to avoid rotating power outages as it grappled with a record heat wave.
“Strong high pressure to the north will continue the heat wave through Thursday for inland areas, with the heat continuing through Friday for the coast and valleys,” the National Weather Service said in its Wednesday morning forecast.
Highs on Wednesday were expected to reach the upper 80s near the coast, the upper 90s inland, 98 to 103 in the inland valleys, the lower 90s in the mountains and 102 to 107 in the deserts.
Power prices soared to a two-year high on Tuesday and demand hit an all-time record as homes and businesses cranked up air conditioners to escape the heat.
The California Independent System Operator alerted residents across the state via cellphone, and in the end canceled its warning of possible rotating blackouts late Tuesday with no outages needed.
“Consumer conservation played a big part in protecting electric grid reliability,” the ISO said in a tweet.
The last time the ISO ordered utilities to shed power was for two days in August 2020 when outages affecting about 800,000 homes and businesses lasted anywhere from 15 minutes to about 2-1/2 hours.
Southern California has seen temperatures soar above 100 degrees every day since last Wednesday. Overnight lows are not offering much relief, staying in the 70s and even in the low 80s in some of the hotter areas.
In San Diego, a minimum temperature of 73 on Tuesday night tied a record set in 1995.
Relief is not expected for most of the San Diego region until the weekend, when Tropical Storm Kay off Baja California will change the weather pattern.
“With the abundant tropical moisture and clouds, high temperatures will be much cooler on Saturday,” the weather service said.
City News Service and Reuters contributed to this article.