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California Grid Operator Cancels Planned Outages

The California Independent System Operator has cancelled a series of planned power outages amid a heat wave that pushed temperatures into triple-digit territory, the AP reports, citing the grid operator as saying pleas for power conservation had worked.

Before appealing to Californians to keep their air conditioners at higher temperatures and avoid using their washing machines for a while, the ISO had warned that several million people could be left without power for up to two hours to avoid overloading the grid.

However, the appeals worked and the outages were canceled, unlike the ones last week, when more than 410,000 households and businesses had no power for an hour to protect the grid on Friday. Another planned blackout left more than 200,000 without power for a short while on Saturday as well.

According to a new AP report, the danger from more blackouts remains as the heatwave still washes over California, threatening the grid. The report noted that the heat was also spreading to other states, making it challenging for California to import the electricity it needs to keep cool.

“What we have is a situation where the entire region is more than hot, it’s extremely hot,” said the president and chief executive of the California Independent System Operator, Steve Berberich. “We can’t get the energy that we would normally get from out of state because it’s being used to serve loads natively. That would probably account for another 4,000 to 5,000 megawatts and could have very well have closed the gap.”

Meanwhile, California Governor Gavin Newsom has not been happy with the news. After he signed an emergency proclamation on Sunday to allow power users and utilities to switch to alternative power sources, Newsom said, “I am not pleased with what’s happened. You shouldn’t be pleased with the moment that we’re in here in the state of California.”

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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