Midpeninsula Post

1700 Palo Alto residents without power after planned shutoff

Palo Alto city hall in June 2021. (Arya Nasikkar)

1700 Palo Alto residents in the Midtown, Old Palo Alto and Industrial Park neighborhoods temporarily lost power today after Palo Alto Utilities shut down power. The shutdown aims to decrease stress on California’s power grid as predictions for power consumption forecast a historic all-time high.

City officials say residents should expect to have power restored by 9 p.m.

Today’s alert is the seventh consecutive day that the California Independent System Operator, the non-profit organization that oversees the state’s power grid, has called for electricity conservation, especially during peak usage from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“Over the last several days we have seen a positive impact on lowering demand because of everyone’s help, but now we need a reduction in energy use that is two or three times greater than what we’ve seen so far as this historic heat wave continues to intensify,” CISO president and CEO Elliot Mainzer said.

The city has opened its libraries as cooling centers to help those affected by the power outage and heat.

More rotating power outages are expected, to maintain the stability of the power grid. All residents have been asked to keep their thermostats at 78 degrees or higher, turn off unnecessary lights and avoid using large appliances.

Wednesday, Sept. 7: The wording in this article has been updated to better reflect the circumstances of the shutoff.

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