Two large utilities said they received last-minute requests to cut power.
By Dennis Romero August 16, 2020
Californians coped with a second day of rolling power outagesSaturday as heat-related electricity demand nearly outstripped supply, utilities said.
More than 307,000 electricity customers statewide were without power, although Southern California Edison said the flow for its customers taken temporarily offline had been restored by early evening.
The rolling blackouts were a surprise for some because the power grid’s manager, California Independent System Operator, tweeted late Saturday that it was “expected to cover electrical demand with no stage emergencies planned at this time.”
Then the ISO contacted Southern California Edison, one of the state’s largest utilities, and “requested that we use a rotating outage to drop customer service and maintain grid stability,” said Edison spokesman Robert Villegas.
The state was in the midst of a stage-three emergency as a result of high demand, he said, and power was cut to about 70,000 Edison customers for 16 minutes.
By 6:44 p.m. the emergency was back down to stage two, he said.
In Northern California, Pacific Gas and Electric had cut power to roughly 250,000 customers, NBC Bay Area reported.
The utility said in a statement Saturday that it might be required to conduct rotating power outages Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the behest of the ISO.