On Friday, California grid operators ordered blackouts after a 500-megawatt generator tripped offline unexpectedly while a 750-megawatt unit was already down. If both had been in service, grid operators wouldn’t have had to call for outages, said Anne Gonzales, a spokeswoman for the California Independent System Operator, which runs the grid.
The heat and the blackouts are hitting at an especially vulnerable time, with Covid-19 forcing millions to remain at home.
The last time such a declaration was made during the electricity crisis of 2000 and 2001, hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses took turns going dark, power prices surged to a record and the state’s largest utility was forced into bankruptcy.
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