Rolling Blackouts in California? Who could have guessed?


Residents asked to reduce power during the California heat wave

By Jana Katsuyama


Recommendations on how to cut back on power usage during Flex Alert

The blistering heat wave is expected to tax the state’s power grid. A Flex Alert has been issued for Friday that asks Californians to reduce power usage from 3 to 10 p.m. KTVU’s Jana Katsuyama with tips on how to cut back

MARTINEZ, Calif. – A blistering heat wave over the next several days is prompting the California Independent System Operator to issue a Flex Alert for Friday, which means residents are being asked to reduce power usage from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

California is expected to have record-breaking heat, up to 10-20 degrees above normal in some areas. 

At La Tapatia restaurant in Martinez, they like heat in the food but not so much in the kitchen.

“It’s difficult. I tell you the guys in the kitchen they should be awarded special hazard pay, cause it gets very warm in the kitchen,” said Ernesto Guerrero, the restaurant owner.

Guerrero, the restaurant owner, had a small air-conditioning unit installed Thursday. He says without indoor dining, they are able to save on cooling, but it’s hard for restaurants to conserve much more during dinner hour.


“We ventilate the place prior to opening up. We turn on the air conditioners last, because not only do we want to conserve energy but it’s also costly. Stoves and refrigeration we can’t do much about,” said Guerrero.

The main concern is people running air conditioners longer will put a strain on the power grid. Power supplies also could be even tighter, as cloud cover is expected to cause a drop in solar power.

[This next line is priceless, emphasis mine. HT/@MikeBastasch for calling out on Twitter]

“The cloud cover obviously reduces the solar output and so that further tightens our electricity supplies,”

said Anne Gonzales, a California ISO spokeswoman.

CAL-ISO says by federal law, they must maintain power reserves, so if demand outstrips supply, there might be outages.

Full article here.

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August 15, 2020 10:12 am

Easy fix, just run the solar panels at night.

Reply to  Derg
August 15, 2020 11:27 am

No problem. Just get some big arc lights and shine them on the panels!

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  oeman50
August 15, 2020 11:50 am

“Solar” panels are old school technology.

My newest trillion dollar idea – “lunar” panels.

I can power the grid at night using only moonlight! All I need is a government mandate that 1% of the electric grid be powered by lunar panels.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
August 15, 2020 12:55 pm

“Lunar panels”?
How much copper would it require to produce a power cable from the Moon to California?
Sorry. I forgot. We’re talking “California Dreamin'” here.
(Easier to dream in the dark.)

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Gunga Din
August 15, 2020 1:49 pm

Just use a microwave beam to push to power down to a ground array. They could turn the the Ivanpah solar mirror plant into a microwave antenna. If it just happens to illuminate LA, no biggie. Southern Californians like being tanned. Like a day at the beach without going to the beach.

Reply to  Pillage Idiot
August 16, 2020 11:15 am

Lunar panels will also soon be old school. Stellar panels, my friend, stellar panels.

Reply to  oeman50
August 15, 2020 11:55 am

Oeman 50

That is silly. With rolling power cuts the arc lights wouldn’t work.


Reply to  Tonyb
August 15, 2020 1:25 pm

Take Diesel generators, you can even move windmills with them and a good transmission 😀

Reply to  Tonyb
August 15, 2020 1:39 pm

They would if you powered them by gas or diesel powered generators!

Better still, put the lights on the border in Nevada, powered by fossil-fuel generators, and have them shine on panels in CA. Then Californians can still claim they are using ‘green’ power. Knowing the looney left, you could probably get a grant or subsidy from them to do it.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  jtom
August 16, 2020 5:55 am

One could power the windmills with diesel motors. This could be used to blow the clouds away and make the solar panels work again… /sarc

Reply to  Tonyb
August 16, 2020 11:17 am

Flashlights, Tonyb, especially those with LED bulbs.

Reply to  Derg
August 15, 2020 4:52 pm

No, no, no – guys, guys, guys! Listen up!

You get a bunch of ecohippies and greenbeaners to stand out there at the solar arrays before sunset and all night, shining flashlights on the solar panels to keep things going. They’ll be doing their duty to the environment and have something to be proud of…. or something like that.

Reply to  Sara
August 15, 2020 8:57 pm

No bring in a pile of gym bicycles with small generators fitted and all the ecowarriors come in to peddle for the community.

Don Koza
Reply to  LdB
August 24, 2020 7:47 am

Glenn Beck already thought of that and wrote a couple of books on it.

August 15, 2020 10:12 am

If the “The cloud cover obviously reduces the solar output and so that further tightens our electricity supplies,” then just think what the night brings. I guess start the A/C in the morning at 10 Am, and hope the Sun is shining until 3 Pm before the ruling blackouts start. Kalifornia is now about as corrupt and inefficient as the Philippines, where there is also a lot of rolling blackouts and corruption. And Kamala Harris was at the legal epicentre of all that legal corruption when she was elected attorney general of California in 2010, and re-elected in 2014. That is when things really started going downhill in Kail, and now to think she might be de facto POTUS. Better get out and vote…In Person.

Reply to  Earthling2
August 15, 2020 10:38 am

Cloud cover reduces solar output. Who knew? Someone better tell Leif!

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
August 15, 2020 12:33 pm

You think he doesn’t know? Sounds like you’re erecting a strawman.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
August 15, 2020 1:44 pm

I suspect the point is, cloud cover reduces solar CELL output, not solar output!
(it threw me when I first read it, too). If anything on Earth affected actual solar output, it would be an astounding, physics-killing discovery.

Reply to  jtom
August 15, 2020 3:51 pm

Isn’t CO2 a magic molecule?

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
August 15, 2020 11:33 pm

A joke is not funny, if you have to explain it but maybe you need to consider the possible use of sarcasm.

“The cloud cover obviously reduces the solar output and so that further tightens our electricity supplies,”

That may not be as moronic as it initially sounds. The problem is thermal inertia. The ground and buildings are accumulating heat. As we know from walking past a brick or concrete wall in the evening this acts as a heat reservoir and will have been warming all summer.

Solar output collapses the second a cloud passes overhead. Folks are not going to winding down the A/C the second a cloud comes over, it will still be working full power until the evening.

What this situation points out is that solar PV is not even an adequate solution in a sunny state during the most productive part of the day.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Greg
August 16, 2020 6:09 am

“What this situation points out is that solar PV is not even an adequate solution in a sunny state during the most productive part of the day.”

Yes, what clouds? Clear sky is the norm underneath a high-pressure system, which is what is causing California’s high heat.

That high-pressure system usually sets up in the central U.S. hoving over Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas where it sits and heats everything up and dries everything out for as long as it sits there. This year the high-pressure system initially formed over the central U.S. but then it moved west and is not heating up the southwest.

In this position, storm fronts can go up and over the high-pressure system and then down the other side, and that brings rain and cooler weather to the central U.S. So in Oklahoma we have been having rain in August which is very welcome but is not normal for this time of year. Usually we are hot and dry. This year we are hot and wet.

We don’t get much of a break from the heat around here. If we have lots of rain and moisture, the temperatures go down to the middle 90’s but the heat index is up around 105. If it is dry, then our air temperatures go up over 100. But the rain is certainly welcome. We’ll take all we can get. The only drawback is the lawn still needs mowing. In a hot/dry summer, by this time the lawn has gone dormant and doesn’t need cutting.

Reply to  Greg
August 16, 2020 9:28 am

Clear skies are what is causing the heat wave, but it is hot all summer long.
So you have to design your system to last during a normal summer as well.

Regardless, the rolling blackouts are happening now, even with these so called clear skies.

Any other irrelevancies you care to bring up?

J Mac
Reply to  Earthling2
August 15, 2020 11:11 am

We all need to do a hell of a lot more than just ‘get out and vote’! Support your conservative candidates with real $$$ contributions and get-out-the-vote support. They can’t win, if you don’t support them in real productive ways before the election!

Rich Davis
Reply to  J Mac
August 15, 2020 5:24 pm

OT but who wants to speculate on when Kevin Clinesmith will be found dead in his bathtub? (People with dirt on Clinton are 833% more likely to “commit suicide”).

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rich Davis
August 16, 2020 6:13 am

I bet Kevin is singing like a canary.

Everyone involved in this Obama administration criminal conspiracy to undermine the Trump administration should be shaking in their boots. They are about to be exposed for the criminals and traitors they really are. I can’t wait!

Rich Davis
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 16, 2020 8:59 am

Hope they can protect him from being suicided long enough to testify against some of the coup leaders.

Reply to  Earthling2
August 15, 2020 1:11 pm

Earthling, I know some people who might dispute your timeline, there. They date back to the first reign of Emperor Moonbeam.

Reply to  Writing Observer
August 15, 2020 4:35 pm

Correct WO. My father actually worked on the gearing for many of them way back then. He had previously worked on the design of the gearing for early Aston Martins (Damn, I wish I hadn’t let my mother throw out the original blueprints he brought home). That was at David Brown, where the DB numbering in Aston Martins comes from. He switched jobs and worked at Flender, UK, who got the gearing and drive contract. This was all before climate bedwetting.

He was very excited to see them when my parents visited and we drove over the Altamont Pass heading for Yosemite. Pity none of them were turning !!

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Writing Observer
August 15, 2020 5:35 pm

He had been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in vials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers.

Perhaps our Lagado researcher could be persuaded to research how to use them to run the aircon via solar panels?

Reply to  Writing Observer
August 15, 2020 8:28 pm

Yes, no doubt about it, Moonbeam and his father before him (Pat Brown Governor 1959 to 1967) put the state so far behind that not even Governor Reagan could straighten things out well enough to last during his two terms from 1967 to 1975. The old man did do some good bringing in the California State Water Project in 1959, which brought a lot of prosperity to California, from construction of the water works to farming to suburbia and rapid growth. But the Brown family was nepotism, with even his daughter being elected to state treasurer.

Bit I think Gerry Brown (Moonbeam) did his most damage to California on his last two terms from 2011 to 2019. This is when the worst of the renewables for solar and wind were implemented on steroids, which is why the grid is now failing with rolling blackouts today. His father would probably be rolling in his grave, since he was a better Governor than his son, even though the son was the longest serving governor in USA history with 4 terms. Maybe that is why California is now the sick man of USA.

Reply to  Earthling2
August 15, 2020 1:27 pm

How ironical!
The South Americans crossed the border and escaped the lives of indentured labour so their children could learn English, graduate college and live in a free society with first world services.
Now, the Californians are having to learn Spanish so they can find work as a servant on servants wages in a country where the legal system is the property of the super rich and the services are third world.

We are busy installing the same improvements to our way of life in Australia. It is only the Aussie Swamp’s (the dunny pit) selling off the family silver and the freedom of our children that maintains the current high standard of living for those on the dole and within the massive bureaucracy.

We are coming to California near you very soon!

Ron Waskiewicz
Reply to  Broadie
August 15, 2020 2:38 pm

“so their children could learn English, graduate college and live in a free society with first world services.” You hit the nail on the head! Free healthcare, free education, free food, free housing, etc..

Reply to  Ron Waskiewicz
August 15, 2020 9:21 pm

Free education in Spanish. From memory the people I heard were pi#sed their children were being taught in Spanish by the Multicultural marxists.
Free to queue for everything else until the money runs out.

sky king
Reply to  Earthling2
August 15, 2020 8:13 pm

No argument about the corrupt part, but I have experienced no rolling blackout in 5 years living in the Phils. In the past couple years the power has been off only a few times and never more than a few minutes.
The one blackout of a 12-hour length was planned and publicized in advance as they switched in some new transmission infrastructure.

Now if we want to discuss unreliable power, don’t get me started about my 4 years living in rural OR. Lost power there monthly and once for several days, but most often for hours.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Earthling2
August 16, 2020 5:56 am

“Better get out and vote…In Person.”

Yes, definitely get out and vote.

If you are worried that your absentee ballot won’t be delivered in time because of a Post Office backlog, you can hand deliver your absentee ballot in most States.

Here’s another idea: Why don’t they set up voting in large parking lots? That way, you can go to the location in your car, have your ballot handed to you through the window, mark your ballot, and then drive over to the box where you drop your ballot in, and away you go with minimum human contact.

I was listening to Rush Limbaugh yesterday and he had a couple of truckers call into the show, and both of them said that everywhere they went, they saw Trump yard signs and flags. One trucker said he saw only four Biden signs, and the other said he has only seen two Biden signs. The Silent Majority is chomping at the bit to vote. And they are going to vote for Trump. The New York City Police Department just endorsed Trump for president! Trump says he may win New York State!

August 15, 2020 10:16 am


“Customary for California”

August 15, 2020 10:28 am

So, everyone work to together to make up for bad government policy.

And remember, any volunteered effort to be deemed not be enough, could have serious consequences, for you- and certainly none for the incapable government which is kind of, obviously, on life support.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  gbaikie
August 15, 2020 11:48 am

Yeah, I think government should be furloughed starting with the top down (IOW, no pay). This is at least as important as the COVID shutdown. Since the government’s job is to provide sufficient infrastructure they should also be the first to suffer the consequences.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
August 16, 2020 3:55 am

Customary for bureaucracies to mature to where they are so busy training and improving themselves financially they no longer do the work the taxes are collected for.
So we have to look after each other and in my opinion this is for the best. You are eligible for help if you are in need and not by by a distant bureaucrat decreed.

Ron Long
August 15, 2020 10:30 am

“…if demand outstrips supply, there might be outages.” Duh. Kalifornia is about to get a reality check delivered upside the head. Part of the rolling blackout might be cutting electricity feed into high tension lines when the wind blows too hard, in order to guard against arcing and sparking and resultant fires. Nuke, anyone? NO? Enjoy the return to yesteryear then.

Reply to  Ron Long
August 15, 2020 10:50 am

Nuke, anyone?

Reasonably, economically, practically, reliably isolated from the environment when the sky is overcast, the wind blows out of operational range, or a flock of birds hope to avoid flying through the Green gauntlet.

Reply to  n.n
August 15, 2020 11:11 am

“Nuke anyone ” I know it’s Kalifornia but nuking them sounds a little severe.

Reply to  Philip
August 15, 2020 12:18 pm

…from space. It’s the only way to be sure.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Fraizer
August 15, 2020 12:33 pm

From orbit, to be precise. 🙂

Reply to  Fraizer
August 15, 2020 2:55 pm

Just remember to take off first!

Reply to  Fraizer
August 15, 2020 4:45 pm

This can’t be happening man. This can’t be happening.

Reply to  Fraizer
August 15, 2020 5:08 pm

Yeah. I saw that after I posted it and had a David Middleton DOH! moment.

Reply to  Philip
August 15, 2020 4:48 pm

Could someone give me a heads-up please. My girlfriend is from Hiroshima. I’ll let her take the lead.

Reply to  philincalifornia
August 15, 2020 5:09 pm

John in Oz
Reply to  Ron Long
August 15, 2020 5:17 pm

If demand outstrips supply there WILL be outages, not might.

Not surprising that the spokesperson tries to put some gloss on it by saying the outages may not occur, only ‘might’.

August 15, 2020 10:44 am

This is just the tip of the green iceberg…in a few short years when Diablo Canyon Nuclear Generating Station is closed, there won’t be enough power to run a fan for the proverbial $#it to hit it.

J Mac
Reply to  Лазо
August 15, 2020 11:20 am

Turn out the lights, the party’s over….
Willie Nelson – The Party’s Over

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  J Mac
August 15, 2020 5:41 pm

What have they done to the earth?
What have they done to our fair sister?
Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her
Stuck her with turbines in the side of the dawn
And tied her with fences and dragged her down

This is the end…

August 15, 2020 10:47 am

The Cloud (i.e. server farms) requires reliable power. The clouds cause rolling, renewable power. Ostensibly, the former is embracing the latter, or perhaps just purchasing carbon indulgences… credits, with carbon and toxic supplements. This is the Age of Tragicomedy.

Reply to  n.n
August 15, 2020 11:22 am

In California, the only power plants approved and under construction are natural gas plants specifically to power datacenters. No other grid scale plants are under approval or under construction:

Reply to  Robert Sandor
August 15, 2020 12:52 pm

Amazon claims in their commercial to adopt wind power, but does not specify the applications. It’s a propagation of the green myth by Green interests, which perpetuates a micharacterization of the field.

August 15, 2020 10:51 am

It always amuses me how surprised public officials are when the harsh intended consequences of their irresponsible policies comes to pass. It’s like they weren’t warned …

This is what happens when you deny truth for political reasons and the political left has made this their go to strategy and when this is too silly, they invoke systemic racism. It’s too bad that the widespread TDS infection caused by the super spreader MSM blinds so many to this obvious deception.

Walt D.
Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 15, 2020 3:10 pm

Straight out of Atlas Shrugged.

paul courtney
Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 16, 2020 10:58 am

co2: “It’s like they weren’t warned…” I bet they were warned that if they defund police, there won’t be any police. Here’s another good one- some dems are warning that rioting will get Trump re-elected, you suppose the peaceful protestors listen?

Paul Penrose
August 15, 2020 10:53 am

This is what you get when you replace reliable generation with unreliable “renewable” generation AND neglect your distribution system for decades. Of course they will blame it on an “unprecedented” hot summer caused by CAGW. By the time the brainwashed lefties discover they have been conned (if they ever do), it will be too late.

As someone famous once said, “Elections have consequences.” Vote with your head, not your heart; emotions have no place in the ballot box.

August 15, 2020 10:55 am

Every day life in a third world Authoritarian Socialist State.

Technologically modern countries don’t need to worry about large power outages unless there has been a catastrophe. Ten degrees above normal is well within 1 sigma and should be designed into any system. 1 sigma heat + 1 sigma coincident cloud cover = outside the normal stupid planning of Authoritarians…not of bad Engineering.

Reply to  DocSiders
August 15, 2020 12:40 pm

But you call it a “blistering heatwave” and that conjures up Hell on Earth. In a dryer climate, a +10F max isn’t that hard to achieve. In a humid sub-tropical climate, you see it maybe 4-5 times in a summer.

Reply to  rbabcock
August 15, 2020 1:14 pm

In a drier climate, AC units don’t have to work as hard since they don’t have to condense all that water before they can start cooling the air.

Reply to  MarkW
August 15, 2020 2:58 pm

But that is just normal Californian conditions. It happens every winter, so there’s no excuse for not planning for it.

August 15, 2020 10:56 am

An _halleluja to reneweble energies 😀
What, there are clouds ? How could that be ? 😀

Reply to  Krishna Gans
August 15, 2020 11:33 am

Isn’t it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground
You in mid-air
Send in the clouds
There ought to be clouds
Don’t bother they’re here.

August 15, 2020 11:08 am

You get what you vote for.

Reply to  mwhite
August 16, 2020 12:10 am


Elections have consequences.


August 15, 2020 11:12 am

SF had an unscheduled outage last night for about an hour. It was pretty damn hot, particularly for SF so I am sure it was a blown transformer.

August 15, 2020 11:34 am

In my opinion the biggest threats to the US come from bailouts to the irrational leftist in Democrat run states and cities draining the national treasure and the flight of loonies from California and other loony leftist states to reasonably run states where Republicans are the leaders.
As an example, Arizona is near a tipping point from illegal immigrants and Californicators bringing all their insane ideas and leftist ideas with them. It defies understanding why they would flee one mess for a better place and then make the same insane mistakes over and over to ruin their new homes.
The loonie leftists are fleeing both coasts and the major cities in the interior and spreading their insane mistakes to Nevada, Texas, Florida, etc.. Our Republic is truly at risk and I don’t see a solution.

Reply to  Leonard
August 15, 2020 1:59 pm

That’s what happened to Seattle and Portland. The idiot leftists moved north and invaded Oregon and Washington, states who already had more than their share of loonies. Seattle in the 80s was a really fine city. No more.

Reply to  Pflashgordon
August 15, 2020 9:04 pm

Have you seen the hilarity in Seattle where BLM are asking white folks to give their houses to black folk.

Reply to  LdB
August 16, 2020 9:32 am

Pretty soon they will start demanding it, with violence to follow for anyone who doesn’t comply.

John in Oz
Reply to  Leonard
August 15, 2020 6:26 pm

The wish to reproduce the environment you came from, regardless of the reasons you left the same, is common.

There are many enclaves of immigrants who cling to their traditional cultures rather than integrate into the one they moved to.

I blame the pundits of ‘multiculturalism’ rather than promoting one multi-national culture

August 15, 2020 11:35 am

Those living in the arid lands of the state that can afford a whole house on demand generator should probably invest in one. Around here in Indiana we run our off of NG.

Reply to  rah
August 15, 2020 12:42 pm

Assuming they get a permit to put one in and have access to NG or Propane (or even get a permit to install a Propane tank.

Reply to  rbabcock
August 15, 2020 2:50 pm

Not a problem here but I would not be surprised if it were a pain in California. But no matter what you can be sure the same butt heads responsible for the policies that will bring about the blackouts will be screaming “climate change” from the roof tops.

Bruce Cobb
August 15, 2020 12:32 pm

The price of unaffordable unreliables: $billions
The price of rolling blackouts, and relying on generators: more $billions plus a huge PITA.
Getting to virtue signal to your heart’s content and be smug about “saving the planet”: priceless.
What’s in your wallet? Not much, once the greentards get done with it.

August 15, 2020 12:35 pm

“CAL-ISO says by federal law, they must maintain power reserves, so if demand outstrips supply, there might be outages.”

This is the key statement. Let us consider it carefully.
They must maintain some level of power reserves. OK, sounds prudent. Their reserves threaten to fall below some level, so they must cut power service to keep up the reserves. OK, maybe. But the whole point of reserves is to provide power and maintain service when demand gets unusually high.
They are cutting power service to bolster reserves they will need so they will not have to cut power service.

Now that we understand the system, we can see why California is the way it is.
And it is not pretty.

Gunga Din
Reply to  TonyL
August 15, 2020 12:58 pm

Welcome to the stoned age.

Reply to  TonyL
August 15, 2020 2:10 pm

Ahhhhhh.. but you see, planned rolling blackouts prevent unplanned rolling blackouts. Relax! Weve got this under control!!

Planning Engineer
Reply to  TonyL
August 15, 2020 2:51 pm

Not sure what reserves they are referring to. There are requirements for operating reserves and spinning reserves. Spinning reserves are generation sources ready to respond instantaneously should a plant trip off and also now when wind or solar suddenly drops as well as to be able to handle sudden load increases. Non-debatable this spinning reserve is needed to keep the system from potentially crashing into a blackout that may take days to recover from. Operating reserves are extra generation needed to react as system conditions change. Do you save that to reduce future outages or do you put in schemes to shed load should that need arise. In a first world country extra operating reserves seems like the best answer. For California maybe he best answer is try schemes when needed to avoid blackouts for “potential” operations reserve problems.

Planning Engineer
Reply to  Planning Engineer
August 15, 2020 4:08 pm

The crazy hitch is that intermittent resources up reserve requirements. Or you can just have intermittent delivery of energy.

Reply to  TonyL
August 15, 2020 3:02 pm

What happened in South Australia, is that the entire state went as black as North Korea. The next year, they had rolling blackouts to prevent it. It’s cheaper than investing in more power generation, or admitting your green policies were wrong.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  TonyL
August 16, 2020 12:47 pm

The reserves they are talking about are really just a buffer to make sure they can maintain proper voltage and frequency at all times. If either goes too far out of spec, even for a few seconds, equipment (grid level and CPE) will be damaged and/or destroyed. Protection circuits will kick in all over the grid with the result a wide area power outage that could take days to get back up. The costs of such an event could be astronomical depending on how much equipment was damaged/destroyed. Significant loss of life is also possible in such a scenario. Much better to exercise some selected, temporary “load shedding” to keep that from happening.

Abolition Man
August 15, 2020 12:44 pm

As one who made a successful escape from Commifornia almost eight years ago I believe our new national policy should be regime change in the state! It is sad to see my friends and family who remain slowly becoming reconciled to living in a third world nation.
How long can the world afford to have such a beautiful and productive land being destroyed by religious fanatics posing as politicians and educators! Maybe we need to have sanctions on any energy them import from neighboring states and a two or three year quarantine on anyone leaving there who cannot pass an economics and civics test!

Reply to  Abolition Man
August 15, 2020 1:16 pm

Abused wife syndrome?

John Garrett
August 15, 2020 12:59 pm

The moment I read NPR’s report (oops, I meant propaganda piece) on this, I knew the event would show up on WUWT.

Naturally, the NPR report (oops, I meant propaganda piece) doesn’t mention the failure of California’s solar panels to generate sufficient electricity or the inconvenient matter of clouds.

Of course, the NPR report (oops, I meant propaganda piece) blames California’s shortage of electricity on climate change. It even has the chutzpah (and there’s no other word to describe it) to make the laughably erroneous and easily disproved claim that:
“…Extreme heat is a silent killer, responsible for more deaths than any other natural disaster…”

Over the last two decades, NPR has gotten more ridiculous. As hard as it is to believe, every year they get a little worse. It’s gotten to the point where I automatically disbelieve almost everything they report unless and until corroborated by other (more reliable) sources (such as WUWT).

sky king
Reply to  John Garrett
August 15, 2020 8:07 pm

Truly the galling thing about NPR is taxpayers paying for that garbage.

Steve Case
August 15, 2020 1:05 pm

And a number of California cities have banned natural gas in new construction paving the way to an all electric world powered by wind mills and solar panels. I ask liberals if they really believe that the entire industrial world can be run on solar and wind power. They answer with a simple, “Yes” with no ifs buts or any other comment. To argue with that is unproductive and pointless. The left is winning. Here’s an off topic aphorism expressing the same opinion:

We’re now at the point in America where a professional athlete
has to explain why he didn’t kneel for the national anthem.

The Marxists are winning and your’re kidding yourself if you
think otherwise.

Walter Sobchak
August 15, 2020 1:18 pm

Rich People in California are installing back up diesel generators as fast as they can. Power cuts are for losers.

JimH in CA
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
August 15, 2020 2:58 pm

Actually, most of us in the foothills have propane backup generators with an automatic transfer switch. So, the power is off for about 30 seconds while the generator warms up.
Losing the 2,200 mW of Diablo Cyn will put PGE is a bigger hole.
Right now, the solar pv output is 9,000 mW, vs the full 11,000 mW., not a big drop.

The blackouts yesterday hit the cities with their urban heating.
Here at 1,000 ft, we’re 5-7 degrees cooler, but it’s 108 degF now….’damn hot’.

Our new mini-split a/c is using 1.9 kW to cool 3,100 sq.ft. to 72 degF, so no problem for my generator ….nice !

August 15, 2020 1:21 pm

Can’t go out of your house. Have to stay home and use Zoom. There is a chance you will catch a disease that you have a greater than 99% chance of making a full recovery and a danger you might pass on a disease where the other person has a greater than 99% chance of making a full recovery. But how can you use Zoom for work if there is no electricity?

August 15, 2020 1:26 pm

It’s like earth hour. Everybody should turn on all their appliances.

Hoyt Clagwell
August 15, 2020 1:37 pm

Rolling blackouts are just a symptom or California’s rolling government incompetence and malfeasance. I have lived here my whole life and we always have a few weeks of temperatures over 100f in the summer. Always! To not be able to plan for something that happens every single year is pure ineptitude if not downright corruption.

Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
August 15, 2020 2:52 pm

If the weather models are correct then your in for a heat wave for an ext3ended period beyond the average.

Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
August 15, 2020 3:04 pm

Hoyt. The Democrats have apparently done you a big favor by sending Kamala Harris to be Biden’s Vice Presidential candidate. At least you get a respite until after November. Sorry to say something against you, but, enjoy your brief respite before she returns to California.

Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
August 16, 2020 10:00 am

Calling them “blackouts” is racist. Furthermore, we are demanding that only white privileged areas should lose power — a small but decent start in commencing reparations.

John Robertson
August 15, 2020 1:40 pm

“Mommy,what did people light their houses with before candles”?

Now all California needs is a windstorm.
The glorious age of incompetence ,has no better expression than being surrounded by electric appliances rendered useless by institutionalized stupidity.
We are approaching the crossroads where the useless and clueless are going to get banished from this luxurious technological society,for they actively seek to destroy what we have created.
Why should we tolerate such ignorant destroyers?

We cannot build while being sabotaged by these cretins.

They want to live as if the “impossible things” are real,let them.
Not on my dime.

Currently the public is being treated to all kinds of demonstrations,of the effect of putting fools and bandits into positions of power.

August 15, 2020 2:11 pm

Completely unforeseeable. It’s as unpredictable as the phases of the moon or dates of presidential elections.

John F. Hultquist
August 15, 2020 2:36 pm

Nancy Pelosi needs volunteers to help eat her $13 dollar a pint ice cream as her $24,000 fridge begins to defrost. You can be considered for this if you send her $2,500 and promise to stop when the power comes back.

August 15, 2020 2:37 pm

Californians should just ignore the “Flex Alert” and use electricity as normal. If the system crashes, that just demonstrates the bankrupt policies of the greenies. Maybe a bit of suffering in the short term would wake up a few people. In any case, electric power in California has been a train wreck for decades.

In the late ‘90s, I worked at Duke Energy’s California operations, with former PG&E and SoCal generating assets in Monterey, Morro Bay (mid-coast) and San Diego. At Morro Bay, using reliable gas supplies, they planned to demolish their back-up fuel oil tank farm (which they did) and replace the three old 1950s conventional gas-fired steam driven generators (650 MW total capacity) with a highly efficient set of gas-fired combined cycle units. They would have demolished the three 450 foot smoke stacks (visual eyesores), replaced by the much shorter stacks at the combined cycle units. Cooling water use would have also diminished. Environmentally, visually and efficiency-wise, this would have been a win, win, win. But NOOOOOOO. Not in California. Duke finally gave up and sold to Dynegy who carried on with plans to build the combined-cycle units. In 2014, Dynegy shuttered the old plant and put it all up for sale, defeated by the loonies. Now some rent-seeking company is dreaming of building a floating off-shore wind turbine facility and using the old Morro Bay plant site to tie into the grid.

August 15, 2020 2:44 pm

Meanwhile …

California sacked megawatts of power when it decided to close SONGS rather than simply replace a couple of steam tube assemblies.

August 15, 2020 3:09 pm

BATTERIES!!! WE NEED MORE BATTERIES!!! Now just how are we going to charge those suckers? Hmmmm…….

Reply to  ColMosby
August 15, 2020 9:06 pm

I am sure Griff would say all you need is a solar light so you can read at night. Anything beyond that is a luxury.

Reply to  LdB
August 15, 2020 11:52 pm

If you have no light or spend much of you income on kerosene for a lantern not as good as a solar light, then a solar light is transformational in your life.

because not everybody lives in California

Reply to  griff
August 16, 2020 9:34 am

Yes, and because you now have a solar powered light, that proves that you don’t need coal powered lights.

paul courtney
Reply to  griff
August 16, 2020 12:04 pm

Griff: We get solar light every day here. If there is no light where “you” are, you should try pulling your head out. Californians should try it, too.

John Endicott
Reply to  griff
August 18, 2020 2:21 am

And not everybody lives where there’s sufficient, consistent sunshine. A lot of good a solar light does you during the six months of winter in northern Alaska, or during the weeks of overcast/rain in places prone to such miserable weather on a frequent basis. Wind and solar are called unreliables for a reason.

Walt D.
August 15, 2020 3:14 pm

Al Jolson has a new song:
Venezuela here I Come.
New Broadway musical:

Jeremiah Puckett
August 15, 2020 3:40 pm

Serves you right for being in California. You’re the frog in the pot of water and they’re going to crank up the heat until you’re dead. Jump. But one caveat. Stop voting liberal. Don’t screw up your new state. Face it. California is a mess because people like you vote for Democrats.

Peter Morris
August 15, 2020 3:44 pm

I gotta be honest.

Those “preppers” everyone likes to laugh at seem more and more reasonable every day.

August 15, 2020 4:04 pm

They should go with galactical panels (lunar panels are a scam : they don’t work) :
– problem solved.

Loren C. Wilson
August 15, 2020 4:32 pm

I first learned about this on Fox News. They didn’t have any place to leave a comment – I wonder why? It is pathetic that they don’t maintain enough backup for routine heat waves. I grew up in southern California and we had a heat wave or three every summer. September can be hotter. The other thing I didn’t believe is that the power company said that they did not know which section of the grid would be shut off next. These subsections are not tripping by themselves. Someone tells someone which section to shut down. They have to have a plan of which one is next unless they are just using dice. Either way, welcome to the green future.

Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
August 15, 2020 11:57 pm

‘It is pathetic that they don’t maintain enough backup for routine heat waves.’

but this isn’t a routine heat wave, is it? I see headlines ‘record breaking heat’.

Reply to  griff
August 16, 2020 12:31 am

And that’s the best excuse you can come up with for power outages that will no doubt increase crime and death? I mean it’s not like heat waves never happened before.

Reply to  rah
August 16, 2020 10:17 am

California ISO said this in advance of the blackouts

“With excessively high temperatures forecast for California, the power grid operator is
predicting an increase in electricity demand, primarily from residential air conditioning
use. Conservation efforts could be critical to maintaining reliability on the power system.
California and the Southwest US will be experiencing near-record or record-breaking
heat, up to 10-20 degrees above normal in some areas. Above-normal temperatures for
the West, including California, are expected to last through the weekend and into late
next week.
Prolonged heat over several consecutive days is expected to drive electricity demand
higher, as nighttime temperatures are also forecast to be above average”

so record heat, record high demand and a power plant failure…

Reply to  griff
August 16, 2020 12:35 pm

“June 14, 2000 California suffers its largest planned blackout since World War II.
On a day when temperatures in San Francisco reach 103 degrees, a series of localized, rolling blackouts affect 97,000 Pacific, Gas & Electric consumers in the Bay Area. “

Nineteen years ago, Griff. Do you know how hot it got in San Fran this time? 95 degrees on August 14th. Wherever that ‘record-breaking heat’ is, it isn’t in the Bay Area where the blackouts are. Not even close. CA is in worse shape today than nineteen years ago. This was a routine heatwave for them. Pretty soon, blackouts will be normal every summer, even if there is no more global warming.

Your government at work.

It’s only going to get worse.

Reply to  griff
August 16, 2020 5:50 am

yup. I also see 10-20 degrees above average.

Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
August 16, 2020 9:28 am

I have worked for 20 years as a Nuclear Power operator for the Navy and over 30 years in the public power sector. I have only seen one new power transmission line constructed for commercial power and that was 25 years ago. They have “Upgraded” some transmission lines, but that has limitations as the higher the power, the higher and bigger the towers have to be.
The problem with all of this “renewable” power is that it needs new lines from the “boondocks” to a substation, where it can be delivered. That costs money. As a result the lines that were designed to deliver power out the spiderwebs for existing plants with massive substations are NOT at the center where they are erecting the wind turbines. Also, the lines that run from the substation in an approximate direction of the wind turbine location are not capable of handling the MAX power they generate. So now you have a system designed like a star or a spider web designed to take the power from the center and send it out to the peripheries of the service area turned upside down and backwards.

Power now comes from where the wind blows, goes to the center and then out on another leg of the star to where it is being used. During average loads all works “acceptably” (not great, not good, but works.) When a front moves across a service area then the source point and usage point can reverse over a period of minutes, hours or days. Cover the area inside that star with homes that have solar panels on their roof and you complicat the protection even more. Then you have the problem of power lines getting overloaded, lightning in the path from the source, etc. The grid is not designed to handle it. to design it requires NEW distributions systems designed for this problem and a computer to control it, as it is now as difficult as flying a Jet Fighter. You can bet your life that none of these colleges making computer programs then telling you that the present system will work has gone out in the field and determined all of the power limitations on each and every line these renewables are coming from and going to and then hit their model with a weather front moving across the service grid.

August 15, 2020 4:51 pm

get rid of most of the people. problem solved.

Reply to  ilo
August 16, 2020 5:59 am

I would have thought a migration plan was most sensible under the circumstances. The other states offer refuge to California’s reliables fans and bus their unreliables fans there. Win win.

John Endicott
Reply to  observa
August 18, 2020 9:42 am

So more of a trade, then. Hey Cali, we’ll give you 5 unreliables fans for every reliables fan you give us. win-win all around!!

Michael Jankowski
August 15, 2020 5:13 pm

Imagine if CA were fully open for business.

August 15, 2020 6:13 pm

What part of the term ” reliable baseload generation ” do the Commiecrats in Kaliforniya not understand?

Reply to  Zane
August 16, 2020 12:38 am

Try NONE of it!

August 16, 2020 3:45 am

Rolling Blackouts in California? Who could have guessed? Enron!

Stephen A Beery
August 16, 2020 5:05 am

I wonder what blackouts do to cloud computing?

August 16, 2020 5:48 am

sounds like a good time to shut down diablo canyon!

August 16, 2020 7:45 am

So glad I had the foresight to leave Kalifornia back in 1989. The writing was on the wall then as the flight of industry had begun to avoid environmental regulations. I moved to the backwards south….we have plenty of power and the only time there is a blackout is when a hurricane hits.

August 16, 2020 9:26 am

“Rolling Blackouts in California? Who could have guessed?”

Anybody who knows anything about renewable energy.

Rod Evans
August 17, 2020 2:19 am

Sadly, what you are seeing in California totalitarian state today due to a seasonal hot spell, you will see in the UK this winter due to a seasonal cold spell.
A lot of old people will suffer, at least they, i.e. the Greens/ socialists, have a handy excuse lined up they can blame seasonal mortality on Covid. It can be so useful in such energy short periods as winter.

August 17, 2020 7:39 am

Although I am of an age that won’t be around to see it, I predict by the next 15 years California and other states will see rolling food shut downs lasting weeks. Remember that all trucks will be electric.

August 17, 2020 8:05 am

The state-species Kalifornicatia parasitica has sucked its own self-limited electrical resources down, now its gonna suck its neighboring states dry too.

August 17, 2020 11:29 am

This in today’s (Aug 17) NY Times: the power levels did not get near the 3%-from-capacity level.
In other words, there was no reason for the power outages.
Possibly not; (unneeded?) power was purchased from Nevada grid for 10x the normal cost/megawatt.


August 19, 2020 5:22 pm

Pay attention to this because it will have an effect beyond saving California power. I work from home, and rarely am I aware of cold snaps, heat waves, or light rain. This is a way to underscore every heat wave California experiences. Looking back on the summer, they’ll swear it was record breaking heat, just because A/C wasn’t available. Be careful, there is more to this than a simple solution to a dreadful power grid. They are creating true believers.

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