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California Declares Power Grid Emergency Days After Gas Car Ban Announcement

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California might want to rethink its 2030 gas car ban deadline until they get their power grid under control. As heat waves scorch the Golden State, Bloomberg reported they declared a power grid emergency on Monday.

”This multi-day event is going to get much more intense,” the grid’s chief executive, Elliot Mainzer, said Sunday. ”We are facing a load forecast of 48,817 megawatts and energy deficits between 2,000 and 4,000 megawatts for Monday, resulting in the highest likelihood of rotating outages we have seen so far this summer.”

”Because of the increasingly extreme conditions, we will need significant additional consumer demand reductions during the hours of 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday and access to all the emergency tools that the state and utilities have established for an extreme event like this one,” Mainzer added.

The power grid crisis comes just days after California told its residents that they are banning gas cars by 2035, requiring all vehicles to be electric or hydrogen powered.

The California Independent System Operator has also suggested residents pre-cool their homes at 72 degrees Fahrenheit before 4 p.m. and then set their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher during conservation hours. Residents should also avoid charging electric vehicles or using large appliances, it said.

The prolonged heat wave is expected to worsen as the week goes on, with much of the state under an excessive heat warning for the next four days, according to Bloomberg.

Bob Oravec, a senior branch forecaster with the U.S. Weather Prediction Center, told the news outlet that the temperature in Sacramento could reach 113 degrees on Monday and 115 degrees on Tuesday, breaking records for those days.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an emergency proclamation ahead of the heat wave to make extra power available, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg also reported that California is experiencing its worst drought in 1,200 years, which has reduced hydropower production, and the state has also closed natural-gas power plants in recent years in favor of solar farms that go dark as demand for electricity peaks late in the day.

The risk of power failures increases each day the heat continues, as soaring temperatures soak into concrete over time, making it more difficult to cool buildings. The likelihood of power plants breaking down also increases the longer they run at full capacity.

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