California experienced limited power outages on Tuesday evening as power demand surged to record levels and the system reached its highest level of emergency alert — though the state did not have to endure rolling blackouts, thanks to conservation by consumers. According to the California Independent System Operator (ISO), power demand reached 52,061 megawatts by Tuesday evening, breaking a record that had stood since 2006, as the state endured one of the longest and most intense heat waves in its history. The state issued a second consecutive “Energy Emergency Alert,” and raised the alert to Level 3, the highest level, at which rolling blackouts are imminent. However, aside from “load shedding” by some local authorities, there were no formal statewide blackouts. The Los Angeles Times noted that there was some confusion between state and local authorities as to whether load shedding had actually happened: Palo Alto officials said around 7 p.m. that they had been cleared to restore power to about 1,700 customers after outages to meet Cal ISO’s “load-shedding requirements.” “We did not order rotating outages,” Anne Gonzales, an ISO spokesperson, said in an email to The Times on Tuesday night. “We held at [Energy Emergency Alert] 3 with no load shed, and [the alert] ended at 8 p.m.” The crisis is not over: authorities have issued another “Flex Alert” for Wednesday, the eighth consecutive such alert, during which consumers are urged to conserve power, including by not charging electric vehicles.
The Flex Alert will run from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Energy demand is highest in the afternoon due to the heat; at the same time, power supplies experience a shortfall as solar energy begins to become unavailable.
The state has moved rapidly toward solar and wind energy while closing natural gas and nuclear power plants, leading to an energy crisis that officials must resolve as the state moves toward requiring all drivers to purchase electric vehicles after 2035, using 30% more power than the grid currently supplies. Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
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