California lawmakers attempt to modernize power grid as flexible alerts persist


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — With the hottest temperatures of the year expected in the state over the next few days, flexible alerts are once again a reality for Bay Area residents.

“The state called for a Flex alert for a reason. It means the peak demand, between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., is getting dangerously close to what we have on the supply side – balancing supply and demand. So , every little bit counts,” says PG&E spokesperson, Deanna Contreras.

In an attempt to avoid widespread blackouts, people are encouraged to try to save energy in their homes.

The alerts have become increasingly frequent in recent years as drought conditions persist and the climate continues to warm.

RELATED: Flex Alert: California Grid Operator Calls for Voluntary Conservation Ahead of Heat Wave

As people try to stay cool, it’s all put increasing strain on the state’s power grid and created problems for Sacramento lawmakers.

During a legislative session on Wednesday evening, they discussed ways to modernize the network infrastructure.

“So number one, we don’t have any blackouts in the future. Let’s prepare the grid to withstand what we know is coming,” said state Sen. Josh Becker.

Places like Berkeley and others in the Bay Area have already made great strides.

From October, all businesses in the city will depend on renewable energy for most of their electrical needs.

VIDEO: What is a Flex Alert?

State Senator Becker, chairman of a committee focused on clean energy, said California continues to lead the rest of the country.

“That’s what we’re doing right now. Put these right incentives in place. Put the policies in place. Encourage the right kinds of renewable energy at the right time,” he said.

But for the immediate future, it looks like flexible alerts are here to stay.

An inconvenient reality that many say is better than the alternatives.

“I don’t want fires. So I’m willing to make that tradeoff,” said Oakland resident Jeff Trowbridge.

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