California’s electrical crisis has deepened as heat waves give rise to wind storms, with the state’s largest utility saying that more than 500,000 people are expected to cut power this week to keep live wires from sparking wildfires To be saved.
Shutdown by PG&E Corp are the latest in a serious run for a disaster-weary state, where climate change makes the weather ever more extreme. Last month, a record-breaking heat wave triggered California’s first rotating blackout since the 2001 energy crisis. After this, there was a fire in the forest.
And now, as a second round of brutal temperatures, winds blowing from the Pacific Ocean threaten to trigger even more explosions. PG&E, which filed for bankruptcy last year when its equipment was in the grip of a deadly wildfire, warned that parts of 22 counties in the Sierra Foothills and North Bay could be affected from late Wednesday.
PG&E, which emerged from Chapter 11 in July after agreeing to pay $ 25.5 billion to settle wildfire lawsuits, said that about 172,000 homes and businesses in the dark would have a preventive shutdown starting Monday. Can be left That can make an impact till 516,000 people based on average California home size.
The shutoff for about 104,000 customers is expected to begin at 9 pm local time on Monday, while the rest are going down in two phases on Tuesday. All customers are expected to be restored by 7 pm on Wednesday.
California survived alternating blackouts on Saturday and Sunday, as temperatures exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) in most parts of the state, bringing the power grid to its brink. The fire only made things worse, toppling down power plants and transmission lines, cutting power to 70,000 homes and businesses.
Temperatures were low on Monday in some areas, with officials saying they were still concerned about it happening through the afternoon, in part due to the fire.
“It’s still pushing the limits,” John Phipps, director of real-time operations for California’s grid-running organization, said Monday afternoon during a news conference.
Summer is only for a short time on Tuesday. Sacramento is estimated to have 97 hits. Oakland will be 91 and Los Angeles will be 87.
One thing that has made California’s grid so weak is that it is far from natural gas. According to BloombergNEF, about 9 gigawatts of gas production, enough to power 6.8 million homes, has been retired in the last five years. This leaves fewer options when the sun sets and solar output decreases. State utilities have commissioned large batteries to take Slack, but have not yet been installed.
Wildfires spread by falling power lines are another issue altogether. On Wednesday morning, strong wind warnings were in effect in most parts of Northern California, increasing the risk of explosions.
The latest blazes are already wreaking havoc on the grid. The Creek Fire in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which scorched more than 78,000 acres, shut down the transmission from a hydroelectric plant on Saturday.
September and October generally mark the peak of California’s fire season, when plants have been protected from moisture from the state’s dry heat. The rains often return in October or November.
Last year, when California utilities first began widespread blackouts like this, some homes and businesses were left in the dark for days. This sparked outrage from state and local authorities, triggering investigations and prompting PG&E to reissue the scope of future closures. The company has taken steps to limit the size and duration of the outage, including wiring underground at some locations.