© 2022 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Environment, Energy and Transportation

More 'Rolling Blackouts' Could Be On The Way In California As Communities Lower Power During Record Heatwave

power lines in Sac County - Nixon CPR.jpg
Andrew Nixon
Power lines in Sacramento County

PG&E says the potential outages would be one to two hours in duration, and that no customers should be affected overnight.

Updated Saturday, 4:51 p.m.

More “rolling blackouts” could be coming to California on Saturday as utilities announced they may have to turn off power on a rotating basis to customers between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. so as not to overwhelm the electrical grid during the current heatwave.

PG&E says the potential outages would be one to two hours in duration, and that no customers should be affected overnight.

The California Independent System Operator, the state’s electric grid operator, issued a warning Saturday of a possible system reserve deficiency. PG&E said California ISO would make a final decision on whether to conduct outages later in the day.

On Friday night, PG&E was directed by California ISO to turn off power to approximately 220,000 customers to help relieve the strain on the power grid, affecting customers beginning about 6:35 p.m., the utility said. The power was back on by about 10:15 p.m.

California ISO has not imposed such action on the state’s energy grid operators in two decades, since the “rolling blackouts” in 2001.

“As the statewide heatwave continues, PG&E strongly encourages all customers to conserve energy through next Wednesday,” the utility said in a statement Saturday.

The rolling blackouts are unrelated to last year’s power shutoffs during high fire conditions. It’s unclear if additional blackouts will be needed as triple-digit temperatures are forecasted into next week.

The Sacramento Municipal Utilities District, which serves customers in the region, said this week it would like customers to conserve energy, but that blackouts would be unlikely.

“We have enough power resources to meet demand, barring a regional or state grid emergency, and we have additional crews available to quickly restore power in the event of an outage,” SMUD’s Chief Energy Delivery Officer Frankie McDermott wrote in a statement.

Copyright 2020 CapRadio