California Braces for More Blackouts as Heat Wave Persists

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The sun sets through smoke created by the Ranch Fire on Aug. 13, 2020, in Azusa, Calif. A heat wave has prompted electrical providers to issue the first rolling blackouts in the state since 2001.

California is bracing for more power outages after as many as 2 million residents were plunged into darkness late Friday in the state’s first rolling blackouts since the 2001 energy crisis.

Grid operators in the state have issued a warning that they may be short on power supplies again starting at 5 p.m. local time. It comes as a heat wave is expected to blanket California through the middle of next week, sending temperatures soaring past 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) in some areas.

We’re seeing a once-in-a-decade heat wave,” said Brian Bartholomew, an analyst at BloombergNEF. What happened Friday “could be a preview of the actions the state’s grid operator may need to take in the days ahead.”

The sudden and largely unannounced outages in California began after a power plant malfunctioned and are a stark reminder of the fragility of power grids in the face of extreme weather. Searing heat has gripped cities around the globe in recent weeks, including Brussels, Paris and New York. Earlier this month, violent winds in the U.S. Midwest and a tropical storm in the Northeast left millions with power, in some cases for as long as a week.

Continued Here: Bloomberg.com