California’s Poorly Maintained Power Grid is Still Terrible

More than 270,000 California residents experienced a second round of rolling blackouts on Saturday. PG&E said rotating outages began around 6:30 p.m. Power was restored to most customers around 9 p.m., PG&E said.

California ISO declared a Stage 3 Electrical Emergency around 6:28 p.m. due to increased demand, as well as the loss of a 470-megawatt power plant. There was also the loss of nearly 1,000 MW of
wind power. The heat wave throughout the area increased electricity usage, leading to the strain on the power grid for the second night in a row.

The last time rolling power outages was ordered was in 2001. California ordered rolling power outages on Friday night due to high temperatures increasing electricity demand across the state. 70,000 people lost power in Los Angeles.

In 2019, millions in California had power outages due to fire and high winds. The power shutoffs were an attempt to prevent wildfires from being started by electrical equipment during strong and dry winds. The shutoffs initially affected around 800,000 customers, or about 2.5 million people but expanded to cause over 3 million people to lose utility-provided electrical power by late October as more utility companies from around the state also did preemptive power shutoffs.

Power outages because of air conditioner demand or because high winds can disrupt old poorly maintained power lines clearly shows that the power utilities and the state did not maintain the power grid and had poor planning.

Most developed countries do not have these pathetic electrical grid problems. Most US states do not have these electrical grid problems.

California has plenty of money to properly maintain its electric grid and forests. However, incompetent and greedy people have been allowed the electric grid and power systems to not have the capacity to handle obvious levels of heat and wind.

100 degree fahrenheit days are hot but they do happen for a time every few years.

California has a $202 billion annual budget.

California put aside $16 billion into a “rainy day fund”.

California needs to spend $10-30 billion fixing the electrical grid, building more power generation and managing the forests with controlled burns.

Apparently, California leadership is expecting something far worse than overgrown forests that cause wildfires that destroyed the entire town of Paradise. Also, they do not want to spend the money on fixing or expanding electrical grids that impacted hundreds of thousands to millions of people several years in a row.

Money should also be spent on building up capacity against Pandemics.

California has 1.8 hospital beds per 1000 people. This is 22nd place in the USA. South Dakota has 4.8 beds per 1000 people.

South Korea has 12.3 hospital beds per 1000 people.

SOURCES- KCRA, Wikipedia, State of California Budget
Written by Brian Wang,