The state of California declared a power grid emergency on Monday as the energy-conscious state narrowly escapes rolling blackouts amid a historic heat wave.
”This multi-day event is going to get much more intense,” said Elliot Mainzer, the grid’s chief executive, per Newsmax. ”We are facing a load forecast of 48,817 megawatts and energy deficits between 2,000 and 4,000 megawatts for Monday, resulting in the highest likelihood of rotating outages we have seen so far this summer.”
”Because of the increasingly extreme conditions, we will need significant additional consumer demand reductions during the hours of 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday,” Mainzer continued, adding, “access to all the emergency tools that the state and utilities have established for an extreme event like this one.”
California has closed multiple natural gas plants throughout the state as they attempt to transition to renewable energy. On Tuesday, the grid was expected to endure 3,400-megawatt shortfalls largely driven by the heat, according to Bloomberg.
The state is experiencing its worst drought in 1,200 years which has led to record high temperatures, especially across northern California. The intense heat has led to less hydropower production as plants experience less water flow.
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The majority of the Golden State is under a heat warning for the week with Sacramento hitting a high of 114 degrees, Stockton reaching 112, and Modesto experiencing 106 degrees of brutal heat on Monday, per the National Weather Service.
Here are the record high temps set for today (9/5) across interior NorCal. Sac Exec. Arpt. 114, old record for the date was 108 in 1988. Downtown Sac. 113, old record for today was 108 in 1988. Stockton 112, old record 106 in 1988. Modesto 106, old record 105 in 1988. #cawx
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) September 6, 2022
In anticipation of the heat, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) issued an emergency declaration to ensure that energy supplies were prepared such as the activation of temporary gas power plants. Despite this, however, energy prices reached $2,000 per megawatt-hour.
Further exacerbating the situation, there are multiple wildfires around Los Angeles and San Diego which could lead to power disruptions from power plants, however, no such interruptions have yet taken place, per Newsmax.
The state of California has pushed for increasing renewable energy as the state focuses on green energy. Just last month, the state announced that gas-powered vehicles will be banned from sale starting in 2035 as reliance on electric vehicles will further push the most populous state’s energy infrastructure to the brink.
As California continues to embrace renewable energy, they face the consequences of unreliable energy infrastructure. Their march towards carbon neutrality will be a struggle for all Californians. There is a reason why so many have left.
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