Wary of More Blackouts, California Board Votes to Keep 4 Aging Generators Operating

California, which imposed rolling blackouts during an oppressive heat wave on two days last month, on Tuesday extended the lives of four aging natural gas-powered generating plants it has been seeking to retire for a decade.



A Lesson from the Blackouts: California May be Too Reliant on Out-Of-State Energy Imports

A deep dive into the causes of the first rolling blackouts to hit California in 19 years is coming soon from state agencies but a preliminary report from an energy consulting group in Sacramento points to a number of reasons — including an overreliance on out-of-state energy imports.

Why Renewables Aren’t to Blame for California’s Blackouts

When blackouts rolled across California on August 14 and 15, briefly cutting off power to several hundred thousand households and their air conditioners, fridges, and medical devices during a pandemic and a record-breaking heat wave, some critics blamed the state’s heavy reliance on solar and wind energy. As the state pursues its ambitious renewable energy goals, they asked, will electric power become unreliable?

Poor Planning Left California Short of Electricity in a Heat Wave

Everybody had known for days that a heat wave was about to wallop California. Yet a dashboard maintained by the organization that manages the state’s electric grid showed that scores of power plants were down or producing below peak strength, a stunning failure of planning, poor record keeping and sheer bad luck.

California’s Blackouts Could Make Fighting Climate Change Even Harder

The state’s electric grid was experiencing rapid and unprecedented changes even before Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison began shutting off power to millions of people in a desperate scramble to prevent their transmission lines from sparking wildfires.

Solar and wind power were booming. Gas-fired power plants were shutting down. Investor-owned utility companies such as PG&E and Edison were being replaced by city-run alternatives. And the falling cost of lithium-ion batteries was making some households less reliant on the grid than ever before.

The changes will only accelerate in the coming years, as California ramps up efforts to fight climate change by cleaning up its energy supply.