Tag: blackouts

Reports says poor planning, heat caused California blackouts

Poor planning coupled with extreme weather caused rolling blackouts that affected hundreds of thousands of people during an August heat wave, energy regulators said Tuesday.

A 121-page preliminary analysis concluded that the state wasn’t prepared to deal with a “heat storm” that sent temperatures soaring into triple digits on Aug. 14 and Aug. 15 which were, respectively, the third-hottest and the hottest August days in 35 years.

The state’s power grid ordered utilities to cut electricity to customers on a rotating basis for around an hour at a time, affecting more than 800,000 homes and businesses over two days. It was the first such order since 2001.

Gov. Gavin Newsom demanded an investigation after the outages.

“These blackouts, which occurred without prior warning or enough time for preparation, are unacceptable and unbefitting of the nation’s largest and most innovative state,” Newsom wrote in a letter to California’s three

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California energy leaders say planning failures led to August blackouts

California’s rolling blackouts this summer were caused largely by a combination of planning failures that led to a lack of adequate power supplies, state energy leaders told Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday.



A deer walks through dry grass beneath high voltage power lines seen from Terrace Drive in El Cerrito in September.


© Jessica Christian / The Chronicle

A deer walks through dry grass beneath high voltage power lines seen from Terrace Drive in El Cerrito in September.


Electricity demand exceeded what the state had secured because of an extreme heat wave, fueled by climate change, that affected areas across the western United States, three crucial energy agencies said in a report about the outages. That’s in line with what grid mangers have maintained since the blackouts happened in August.

Current energy resource procedures “are not designed to fully address an extreme heat storm like the one experienced in mid-August,” said top officials at the California Independent System Operator, the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission.

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