Final week, California’s investor-owned utilities launched a media marketing campaign to tell the state’s residents that tens of 1000’s of them — or maybe hundreds of thousands, no one is aware of for positive — may face hours, or days, with out electrical energy this summer season.
It’s the newest growth in a long-running effort, being reluctantly pushed by California regulators, wildfire liability-bankrupted Pacific Fuel & Electrical and the state’s different investor-owned utilities, to drastically broaden the scope of so-called public security energy shutoff occasions — i.e., de-energizing the grid to forestall it from beginning lethal wildfires.
A lot of the consideration to date has been on PG&E’s plan, which got here with a warning that it may very well be compelled to go away its total 5 million electrical prospects with out energy if it’s compelled to energy down transmission strains crossing areas of fireplace danger. That’s a drastic enlargement of a program that’s been used at solely restricted scale earlier than.
Though a worst-case situation, PG&E’s projection signifies the potential for compelled blackouts at a scale California hasn’t seen since its 2000-2001 power disaster.