Triple-digit temperatures led to a spike in energy usage during week 11 of the shelter-in-place order. While load reductions have generally been down over the last several weeks, this week saw a shift in power usage. According to figures from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the weekday power demand was up nearly 20% compared to the same time last year.
Natural gas power also spiked in order to handle the increase in power demand. Natural gas was up more than 5,000 megawatt-hours (MWh). In a three-day window, natural gas peaked around 8 p.m. between 15,000 and 18,000 MWh. Imports are up by more than 1,400 MWh. Meanwhile, renewables were down for the same period by nearly 500 MWh, and large hydropower was down by 1,400 MWh.
During the shelter-in-place, natural gas (a type of power that can be scheduled) is especially crucial during unpredictable times.