California warns of electricity shortage in heat: The California grid operator has warned about possible power shortages that might cause blackouts. Wednesday, as a heat wave intensifies and hydroelectric reserves depleted by an unprecedented, protracted drought.
As temperatures rose beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday between 4 and 9 p.m. local time. Officials urged citizens to save energy (38 degrees Celsius).
In addition, the grid operator in California, the California Independent System Operator, issued a warning on its website about potential power shortages during that period.
The grid in California has been put to its most significant test. Since the summer of 2020 when rolling disruptions blanketed large areas of the state.
It occurs as Europe faces an energy crisis brought on by Russia’s conflict in Ukraine. While record temperatures tax global grids brought on by climate change.
Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, said at a press conference that “it’s fairly obvious Mother Nature has overtaken us.” Newsom on Wednesday invoked an administrative order to open up emergency power supplies. However, we live in an era of extremes, such as high heat and extreme drought.
This summer, California has experienced the most significant drought in 1,200 years, severely reducing water supplies in rivers and reservoirs. That has significant ramifications for a state that just aggressively shut down natural gas power plants while producing approximately 10% of its energy from hydroelectric dams.
The grid operator, Casio, predicts that California’s power consumption will increase during the next week and reach 48 gigawatts on Monday and Tuesday. Which would be the state system’s most considerable demand since 2017.
In some of the busiest hours beginning Wednesday night, officials anticipate a shortage of contractual reserves excess supplies kept on hand as a backup to avert blackouts.
Caiso spokesperson Anne Gonzales said, “We’re witnessing some supply uncertainties for later in the day. So we’re urging users to help stabilize the system by saving power.”
Hours before state legislators are anticipated to determine the future of the state’s most extensive power-generating facility. The Diablo Canyon nuclear reactor, the plea for conservation has made.
The two nuclear reactors, the last ones still operating in the state, will shut down by 2025. However, as the state switches to renewable energy, Governor Gavin Newsom urges lawmakers to extend their terms by five years to protect the system from blackouts.
Owners of transmission lines and power plants have ordered to limit maintenance. However, Caiso also warned that customers might receive repeated requests.
The demand will be higher than the 45.5-gigawatt summer peak that California ISO predicted. This is because the benchmark set in 2006 of almost 50.5 gigawatts is still unmet. In California, one gigawatt is sufficient to power around 750,000 houses.
According to Gary Cunningham, head of market research at risk management company Tradition Energy, “This is a manifestation of what Caiso warned people about back in May.
Unless they saw voluntary curtailments, the system might become unstable at specific moments of heavy demand.” In this instance, excessive heat is to blame, but general supply-side weakness aggravates the problem.