California faces rolling blackouts again as ‘heat storm’ strains electrical grid

Originally published at:

CA grid operator calls on state’s utilities to begin cutting power to some customers


Keep sucking that PG&E, California.


Ah, and I thought it might slow down… adds “Heat Storms” to the It’s 2020 So Why The F- Not list…


I’m in Tijuana, but holy toaster ovens is it hot out here!


Yep; it was even hot in the Bay area today…


Ah, widespread power outages. Just in time for the start of our online-only school year.


Just got hit by a 45-minute outage a few hours ago. Hooray for privatized utilities…


My son’s school just wasn’t ready for remote learning. They had groupware software where you could log on to get class times, etc. But it was hosted on a PC in an office at the school. Now how does autoscaling work in that environment? Do you send somebody out to buy a new computer?


My wife and I are both teachers. Trust me, almost NOBODY is really prepared for this.


still better than the alternative, i guess. packing kids into a hot room. in a blackout. with no ventilation


I’m a little surprised that there isn’t more home solar in Ca, making hot, sunny days more or less power-neutral for the utilities.

Here in Western Australia, the strain on the grid is becoming over-supply of solar during the spring and autumn when it’s still sunny but not hot enough for wide-spread air conditioning. Summer isn’t a problem, with all these rooftops powering their own aircon, and winters are too mild for heating to be a major drain.


Politics. In the states the laws alternate between encouraging solar and discouraging solar to the extent where a lot of folk just dont want to deal with the hassle.

For example Hawaii has a great climate for solar but the utility companies can charge solar users for dumping excess solar onto the grid.


Well, it’s SoCal Edison from roughly Kern County southward.

We got an outage at 7:00 p.m. last night and power just came back on a few minutes ago (4:55 a.m.) Just our immediate neighborhood that vaguely resembles a triangle. We’re at one of the angles/points and you tend to become envious of the neighbors across the streets.

I guess anything less than 24 hours is a win.


CA always gets fucked by energy. When pg&e announced their partnership with Tesla a few months ago I was reading about Moss Landing and took note of something that stood out to me as strange, CA shutting down power plants because of a “glut of wholesale electricity in California making it difficult to operate profitably”

Sounds like some pump and dump mismanagement.

Southwest is going to be on fire soon (I thought they had another decade, but it seems like the timetables have shifted up).

Upper midwest is going to turn into a new Siberia with multiple “vortexes” every winter.

Lower midwest is going to flood as the rivers swell and drain into the gulf so any cities along the river better start moving back a bit.

Southeast? Just wait for the next Cat 5 (and not the ethernet cable kind).

At this point, I’m thinking Northwest, Rockies, and New England will be okay for a while. But who knows? Mother Earth is not happy with what we’re doing, and she’s one mother you don’t want to f with.


Okay, so this round of rolling blackouts is real though? Has everyone forgotten that the last ones were artificially created by Enron fucking the state power system in one of the greatest scams in US history?

How does a story on “the last rolling blackouts” not mention that? America’s memory for corporate grift is so incredibly short.


Note that it’s a so-called “investor-owned” (i.e., for-profit PG&E) electric company that’s having problems. San Francisco, Sacramento and parts of Los Angeles have municipally-owned utility companies and, as in the privatization/Enron mess in 2001, have fewer problems. Funny how that works. Maybe the municipally-owned electric companies use the money that would go to dividends to improve their systems.


Republicans even used that debacle to run a successful recall effort ousting Governor Gray Davis. Which was especially ironic since it was the Republicans in the state legislature who pushed through the deregulation that allowed Enron to fuck over the state in the first place.


If you have “vital” equipment, invest in one or more of:

  1. A decent UPS. It can run your equipment for a while if there is a blackout. Probably not electric heaters, fridges and washer/dryers. Ok for computers, routers, NAS.

  2. Depending on your location, maybe a home generator…

  3. Home battery systems (here’s a quick comparison and price listing which may or not be up to date)


So solar power is the medicine for this sort of hazard. Every AC in the state is on full blast just to cope with the heat. Solar can casts shade and has max output when demand is highest isn’t that great? Notice Germany, they have problems on the other side of this coin, so much power they are sometimes desperate to export it.

We need local power production, save the Grid for transmission interstate. Also we should have consumer owned utilities, the for profit capitalism unhinged method of thinking is failing us, no?