California..Green Power , as Fickle as the Weather ..Do We Want More in Maine?

PG&E Corp. said late Monday it started cutting power in parts of Northern California to reduce wildfire risks, a day after the state narrowly averted rolling blackouts to relieve strain on its electric grid during a heat wave.

The San Francisco-based utility, which serves 16 million people in Northern and Central California, said the outages will affect about 172,000 customers in 22 counties, stretching from wine country to the Sierra foothills. “PG&E will be able to use temporary generation and islanding to enable about 69,000 customers and several medical facilities to stay energized,” the company said.

The exact number of people potentially affected is uncertain but would likely top more than 500,000, based on census data on people per household in California.

PG&E said the progressive shutoffs started about 9 p.m. Monday in some areas. The company said the decision was based on forecasts of widespread, severely dry conditions and strong, gusty winds that create critical fire weather with high ignition risk. The outages could last through Wednesday in all affected areas.

California utilities in recent years have resorted to public safety power shutoffs in which they cut off electricity to certain areas to reduce the risk of their power lines sparking wildfires when wind speeds pick up.

PG&E last year relied on such measures after its equipment sparked a series of deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018. Last October, it pre-emptively cut power to more than two million Californians across 34 counties, some for days at a time. It is the only U.S. utility to have ever initiated a weather-related shutoff of such size and duration.

The Monday shutoffs were the first of their kind since California wildfire season began earlier this summer. PG&E has been working to reduce the scope of its safety-related outages by installing technology to limit their size and improving its ability to detect weather threats.

The shutoffs came a day after the California Independent System Operator, which operates much of the state’s electric grid, anticipated a 4,000-megawatt power-supply shortage, driven in part by import constraints and wildfires affecting transmission lines in parts of the state. On Sunday, it called a Stage 2 emergency, urging utility customers to conserve power during the early evening hours but stopped short of calling for rotating outages.

An extreme heat wave in the southern half of the state forced residents to shelter inside and crank their air-conditioning units as temperatures topped 120 degrees in parts of the region, boosting electricity demand. As a result, the grid operator’s power reserve margins wore thin at several points throughout the evening as solar generation began to decline.

Californians responded by conserving energy during the supply crunch and the grid operator called off the emergency Sunday evening.

The state grid operator called for rolling blackouts last month for the first time since 2001 as a heat wave swept California and other parts of the West. The state’s largest utilities cut power on two consecutive nights to several hundred thousand customers.

Rolling blackouts, which gradually move through targeted cities and towns when power supplies get tight, are distinct from safety-related shutoffs designed to reduce fire risk.

California has found itself strapped for electricity this summer during heat waves in the later hours of the day. In seeking to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, the state has almost eliminated coal-fired generation and reduced its reliance on natural-gas power in favor of renewable energy.

PG&E, which serves 16 million people in Northern and Central California, said the outages will affect about 172,000 customers in 22 counties.

PHOTO: DAVID PAUL MORRIS/BLOOMBERG NEWS

That has posed a supply challenge when electricity demand spikes. Solar-energy production begins to decline in the early evening hours, when power usage peaks, reducing the capacity available during a supply crunch.

When demand surges, California relies more heavily on power imported from neighboring states, and natural-gas power plants capable of firing up quickly are kept on standby. But imports aren’t as readily available this weekend because the heat wave has strained supplies in other parts of the West, the grid operator said.

On top of that, wildfires in the Northern and Southern parts of California have affected transmission lines carrying power from hydroelectric plants and solar farms. At midday Sunday, the grid operator said it had lost as much as 1,400 megawatts of generation.

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Trapped Campers Airlifted From California Wildfire
Trapped Campers Airlifted From California Wildfire
A massive operation was under way to rescue Labor Day campers trapped in California’s Sierra National Forest by the Creek Fire. It's one of more than 20 major fires burning in the state as a brutal heat wave pushes temperatures in many areas into triple digits. Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

The shutoffs came a day after the California Independent System Operator, which operates much of the state’s electric grid, anticipated a 4,000-megawatt power-supply shortage, driven in part by import constraints and wildfires affecting transmission lines in parts of the state. On Sunday, it called a Stage 2 emergency, urging utility customers to conserve power during the early evening hours but stopped short of calling for rotating outages.

An extreme heat wave in the southern half of the state forced residents to shelter inside and crank their air-conditioning units as temperatures topped 120 degrees in parts of the region, boosting electricity demand. As a result, the grid operator’s power reserve margins wore thin at several points throughout the evening as solar generation began to decline.

Californians responded by conserving energy during the supply crunch and the grid operator called off the emergency Sunday evening.

The state grid operator called for rolling blackouts last month for the first time since 2001 as a heat wave swept California and other parts of the West. The state’s largest utilities cut power on two consecutive nights to several hundred thousand customers.

Rolling blackouts, which gradually move through targeted cities and towns when power supplies get tight, are distinct from safety-related shutoffs designed to reduce fire risk.

California has found itself strapped for electricity this summer during heat waves in the later hours of the day. In seeking to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, the state has almost eliminated coal-fired generation and reduced its reliance on natural-gas power in favor of renewable energy.

PG&E, which serves 16 million people in Northern and Central California, said the outages will affect about 172,000 customers in 22 counties.

PHOTO: DAVID PAUL MORRIS/BLOOMBERG NEWS

That has posed a supply challenge when electricity demand spikes. Solar-energy production begins to decline in the early evening hours, when power usage peaks, reducing the capacity available during a supply crunch.

When demand surges, California relies more heavily on power imported from neighboring states, and natural-gas power plants capable of firing up quickly are kept on standby. But imports aren’t as readily available this weekend because the heat wave has strained supplies in other parts of the West, the grid operator said.

On top of that, wildfires in the Northern and Southern parts of California have affected transmission lines carrying power from hydroelectric plants and solar farms. At midday Sunday, the grid operator said it had lost as much as 1,400 megawatts of generation.

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Comment by Stephen Littlefield on September 9, 2020 at 7:09pm

The RE-dreamers colloquially known as RE-tards as they have no ability to grasp the concept of homes and businesses requiring power all the time! All in the name of "Green" new deal! Which in reality is bringing humanity back to the early 1800's! What next? Going back to DC power over AC? Good Grief!!

Comment by Willem Post on September 8, 2020 at 6:24pm

"California has found itself strapped for electricity this summer during heat waves in the later hours of the day. In seeking to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, the state has almost eliminated coal-fired generation and reduced its reliance on natural-gas power in favor of renewable energy."

California closed 15 of its 19 shore-line, gas-fired plants, efficiency about 55 to 60 percent, that were using the enormous Pacific Ocean for cooling water!!

That shut-down process had been on auto-pilot

All the various RE idiots were praising each other how well they were doing.

Hi fives all around

California, a roll model for Vermont and Maine, etc.

All RE dreamers lost sight of the BIG PICTURE.

No one considered: 1) outages, 2) a southwest heat wave, 3) no wind and 4) no sun DURING PEAK HOURS

The incompetent dreamers of the Environmental Board said: "The Pacific Ocean was heating up."!

Wow, you just cannot be make this up.

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-vagaries-of-solar-...

Comment by arthur qwenk on September 8, 2020 at 10:34am

So, Sun  Power Does Not Work at Night, Wind Power does not work without....Wind.

Wow, this is a difficult concept, however...

AOC and the Proponents of Solar and Wind have not figured this out yet.

Stupid is as Stupid Does!

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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