Record Heat-Wave Sends SoCal Electricity Prices Soaring

The second day of a dangerous heat wave brought record-high temperatures across Southern California, and sent spot electricity prices soaring to two-year highs.

As Bloomberg reports, electricity prices in Southern California averaged $552.19 a megawatt-hour in the hour ended 3 p.m. local time, the highest since August 31, 2016, as people blasted their air conditioners to keep cool.

The National Weather Service declared an excessive heat warning for the region, and California’s grid operator asked transmission operators to restrict maintenance in anticipation of high demand.

As The LA Times reports, among the places that hit record-high temperatures were Van Nuys Airport (117 degrees), Burbank Airport (114), UCLA (111) and Santa Ana (114).

Peak energy demand climbed to 6,256 megawatts Friday, knocking down the previous July record of 6,165 megawatts set in 2006 and making it the fifth-highest peak demand recorded in the city’s history.

Consumers were urged to reduce their electricity usage from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., the hours when high use is typical.

The National Weather Service predicted another hot day Sunday, though slightly less oppressive than Saturday, but power outages continue...

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