Nationwide heat wave puts electric grid to the test


here in Ottawa Canada i’ve gotten 2 power outtages in 3 days. dono how long they lasted because i often left shortly after they happened but I fear it’s gona keep going, and if it happens in the morning & knocks out my alarm clock on a workday ? ima be FUCkMAD

There is a technological solution to your problem. Buy an alarm clock with a battery backup. And then buy a second redundant battery powered alarm clock (I have one that has lasted 4 years with only 4 AA batteries).

It’s a good thing global climate change is just a liberal conspiracy or I might be worried.

Meanwhile, Cal ISO is easy-peasy.

And the steampunk solution to @Frank_Xavior’s alarm clock problem is a spring-wound alarm clock if you can still find one.

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As always on days like this, I am so glad I live near Seattle.

I wonder if this is a good time for an article discussing the inherent dysfunctions within the grid - a la your book maggie. I’m sure my fellow PDX’ers would benefit from a lesson in the basic truth that “more wind won’t help” solve the root systemic problem(s). Just a thought.

I feel for you guys. I mean, it’s only about 84 outside here in Burbank now, so I don’t literally feel your pain today, but a couple Septembers ago it hit 113, so never fear: our time is gonna come any week now.

MISO implemented a Market Alert regarding hot weather this week through Friday until 10PM. Additionally, all maintenance that could affect reliability at generation and transmission facilities has been recommended curtailed as well. (

I was looking at the real-time curve yesterday, and it was above the predicted demand by about 1MW. Today is looking spot-on:

Any idea how I would find out if my local power company (in my case, Xcel Energy in Minneapolis), cycled any of the homeowner-level ‘supersaver’ or ‘dual fuel’ switches that can cut power to your central air of GSHP? I’m referring to the switches that the power utility can operate remotely to kill your cooling (or heating) power for short periods of time during peak demand. Anyone?

This whole situation is like bizzarro world. down in not-so-Hotlanta, it’s been two non-stop weeks of unseasonable cooling rains once or twice a day, followed by pleasant sun. This is the mildest summer i’ve experienced in the South, ever. Quite welcome, though it seems to be at the expense of the rest of the country. Sorry, yankees. Welcome to our world.

Just a thought: your regional boundary conditions are not mine, capische?

Your personal conditions are not mine, either: I don’t come home until after eight or so. So I don’t even enable AC unless I come home and choose not to tough it out for another hour or two. I am thus no threat to grid stability, unlike you apparently.

I appreciate your willingness to share the environmentals of your present living situation with hints regarding your choices given the day’s conditions.

I’ll skip over an enumeration of the locales I’ve lived were the seasonal conditions varied from one extreme to the other.

The point of my point was to highlight 2 factors germane to maggie’s post. The first is that power shortages result from strain the electrical grid must endure when demand/supply mismatches become acute. The second point was to tie-in maggie’s book on the subject which is IMO a bright-light of insights and pragmatic thinking about the issues of AGW, civic infrastructure and the obstacles to a viable, sustainable solution.

If you’ve not read magggie’s book, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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