(Reuters) – A California heat wave will cause rolling blackouts on Monday as state power companies manage overwhelming demand by cutting off more than 3 million homes for about an hour at a time each, the state’s system operator said.
The Independent System Operator (ISO) said it is expecting a statewide electrical supply shortage of 4,400 megawatts.
Rotating outages this weekend affected around 220,000 PG&E customers, over 130,000 customers of Edison International (NYSE:)’s Southern California Edison and over 58,000 customers of Sempra Energy (NYSE:)’s San Diego Gas & Electric.
In response to the weekend power outages California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered an investigation and said the blackouts, “which occurred without prior warning or enough time for preparation, were unacceptable and unbefitting.” (https://
Newsom also signed an emergency proclamation to free up energy capacity and reduce the need for temporary energy service disruptions.
The hottest air temperature recorded anywhere on the planet in at least a century, and possibly ever, was reached in Death Valley in California’s Mojave Desert on Sunday afternoon where it soared to 130 Fahrenheit (54.4 Celsius).
Meteorologists at AccuWeather forecast high temperatures would reach the 90s F in some of the biggest cities in California through the middle of the week. That is more than 10 degrees F higher than normal for this time of year.
The last time the ISO asked utilities to impose rotating outages, before the current heat wave, was in 2001 when several energy companies were accused of manipulating the power market to cause prices to spike and electric supplies to run artificially short.
San Francisco-based PG&E Corp also said on Monday more rotating outages were likely to occur in response to the California ISO’s ‘flex alert’ urging consumers to keep conserving electricity through at least Wednesday, when the weather is expected to start to cool.
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