The first rolling blackout to hit the state since the 2001 energy crisis saw two million Californians drowned in darkness over the course of four hours on Friday.
And that was only Day One. A sustained heat wave is expected for California from the middle of the next week, causing temperatures in some parts to exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius). People are blasting their air conditioners and fans to keep them cool, affecting the region’s electricity system and repeating Friday’s sudden and largely unannounced.
Explore dynamic updates of Earth’s major data points
It began around 6:30 pm local time on Friday, when California grid operators determined through a complex calculation that the state’s power reserves had fallen below a critical threshold and called a Stage 3 grid emergency, What triggers it Describes as “load interruption”. The last time such an announcement was made during the 2000 and 2001 power crises, hundreds and thousands of homes and businesses were turned into darkness, electricity prices reached a record and the state’s largest utility forced into bankruptcy. It was done.
“We had a shortage of energy,” grid manager California Independent Systems Operator spokesman Annie Gonzales said in a phone interview late Friday. Agency Cut out demand for the state’s utilities by about 1,000 megawatts. According to California’s ISO estimates, enough to power 750,000 homes, affecting more than 2 million people based on average household size.
Heat and blackouts are hitting the area at a particularly vulnerable time, with people in the region being forced to stay indoors. They are coming to the area less than a year after utilities deliberately cut off the electricity of millions of customers in an effort to intercept their power lines amid strong and strong winds – one of the fastest growing seasons And the result climate change.
Areas around the world Has been battling extreme heat in recent weeks. What was forecast in August as one of the worst waves of heat in more than a century of Europe. The eastern US is emerging from July temperatures that were expected to rise above daily records in Manhattan and Boston, dating back to the 19th century. But few, if any, had to resort to the bustling resorts of California late on Friday.
Came off the bulk of PG & E Corp. State’s biggest utility Said it expects 250,000 customers to be shut down in a rolling outage, with power fully restored by 11 a.m. “Unfortunately, due to the emergency nature of this, we were not able to notify customers in advance,” Jeff Smith company spokesman said in a telephone interview. He said the outage occurs from 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the rotation through the utility’s Northern and Central California service area.
Edison International’s Southern California Edison Utility began closing customers shortly before 7 pm, with about 7:45 a.m. There were 132,000 powerless “It’s getting too fast,” said spokesman David Song. Semra Energy’s San Diego gas and electric utility said the shutdowns were “widespread” in its area in San Diego and southern Orange County.
According to the National Weather Service, temperatures climbed to record levels in parts of the Bay Area on Friday, with San Francisco reaching 95 degrees Fahrenheit and San Jose at 103.
California will not get relief from high temperatures until next week, based on National Weather Service forecasts. The weather agency warned of extreme heat for California from Friday to Wednesday.
Electricity prices have already reached a two-year high as weather forecasts have called for extreme temperatures. On Friday evening, spot electricity prices in California have risen by a thousand dollars. According to the report, natural gas prices in Southern California more than doubled over the increasing need for fuel for electricity generation BloombergNEF.
Gunzels said grid operators would monitor the situation throughout the weekend and until next week. The possibility of rolling out on Saturdays and Sundays may prove less likely as demand is generally weak during working hours. Asked if the California ISO would need to call for additional power shutdown, he said: “We don’t expect one, but we are ready for one.”