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California Grid Issues Emergency Blackout




STAFF REPORT • September 6, 2020

(SACRAMENTO BEE) The California Independent System Operator, which runs the grid, issued  Stage 2 alert, one short of rolling blackouts,  shortly before 6 p.m. yesterday as supplies started wearing thin. The ISO is trying to stave off a repeat of the two nights of rolling blackouts in mid-August. The Stage 2 alert means the ISO is directing utilities to implement power reductions for “interruptible” customers — those that agree to have power scaled back during crunch times, in exchange for discounted rates.

The increasing threat of blackouts came two days after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency over the Labor Day weekend heat storm. Newsom’s emergency proclamation allows power plants to generate more electricity “by suspending certain permitting requirements,” Newsom’s office said late Thursday. Among other things, Newsom directed the California Air Resources Board to “exercise maximum discretion to permit the use of stationary and portable generators or auxiliary ship engines to reduce the strain on the energy infrastructure and increase energy capacity during the Extreme Heat Event.”

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