Has this ever happened to you? You're stuck in traffic in your electric car, or enjoying a microbrew in your favorite semi-dive bar, and suddenly the question arises: how many megawatts of electrical power is California using right this second? With ISO Today, the new mobile app just released by the California Independent System Operator (CaISO), you no longer have to ask your fellow bar patrons what the day's Forecast Peak Demand might be. You can just pull out your phone and find out for yourself.
Okay, so perhaps this app is aimed at a relatively narrow target market: people who have an interest in tracking the basics of California's power grid day to day. Still, it's a pretty nifty tool, and the price is certainly right, at "free."
With versions for iOS and Android environments, the app is pretty simple, with just four modes: current power status, renewables, a notices section, and a calendar of upcoming meetings, conferences, and events.
The supply and demand page charts actual and forecast demand against available resources, while the renewables graph offers a daily calculation of power coming into the grid from Solar, wind, geothermal, biogas and biomass, and small hydro. The calendaring section allows you to browse upcoming meetings and teleconferences, adding them to your phone's calendar if you wish.
According to CaISO, the app is compatible with iPhone 4 and above and Andoid version 2.2 and up, though the app seems to work just fine on ReWire's creaky old iPhone 3GS.