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Report Critical Of California’s Actions Leading To Electrical Blackouts

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Sacramento, CA — A mid-August heatwave spurred rolling power outages for 800,000 energy customers in California, and Governor Gavin Newsom ordered an investigation into the matter.

A 121-page preliminary report was put together in partnership between the state’s Public Utilities Commission, Energy Commission and the Independent System Operator.

The rotating blackouts between August 14 and 15 impacted customers for up to an hour. It was the first of its kind event since 2001. They were unrelated to the PG&E planned power outages conducted due to high fire danger.

The report argues that there was a “mix” of contributing factors leading to it. For example, California has been increasing its reliance on solar power, and it did not properly plan for needing more supplies to cover the evening hours. Customers were at home with air conditioners running heavily, while at the same time solar production fell.

Also, the heatwave was blanketing much of the entire West, so it was difficult to import electricity from other states. In addition, hydroelectric energy was limited due to the dry winter. The report also states that climate change is leading to hotter periods.

A final report will be released by the end of the year. The three groups note that they are making changes to adjust operations in hopes of avoiding future rolling blackouts.