The state of California is known to be near, if not at the top of the list when it comes to most power outages in the United States. The most common causes of California power outages are related to extreme weather. California is prone to extreme heat, droughts, winds and deadly wildfires and this year is no exception as this extreme weather is predicted to hit California once again.
With that being said, it’s vital that you are prepared for both planned and unplanned power outages. Unfortunately, as most of you know, there are still global supply chain issues, resulting in lead times that are longer than expected. Therefore, if you’re looking to be proactive versus reactive, start planning now. We can help with all your power generation needs!
To assist in your preparation, we have prepared a list of factors to be aware of that could increase the risk of power outages this summer:
- Extreme Heat
During the hot summers that California encounters, more people use power to cool down their homes and business; this greatly increases power demand. When this heat is combined with adverse weather conditions that could reduce output from other power sources, system operators may also be forced to use emergency procedures to prevent catastrophic grid failures and extended outages. In addition to that, the extreme heat will cause electrical equipment to fail.
In relation to California’s hot temperatures, droughts may also increase the risk of a power outage as they can strain the electricity supply. Hydroelectricity is another energy source that California highly depends on and if its reservoirs run low – likely due to extreme heat – there will be a significant drop in hydroelectric generation. With this drop in energy production, the chances of an electricity shortages rises.
Extreme heat coupled with drought conditions gets exponentially worse when extreme winds come into play. This is what California is faced with every year when the Santa Ana winds start blowing or when the state is hit with the fierce Diablo Winds. Beside knocking out power, these winds can cause power line breakages which will spark wildfires.
- Wildfire Season
Summer and early fall in California tend to also be referred to as “wildfire season”. Wildfires are devastating, unpredictable and they move extremely quickly. They can destroy transmission lines and electrical infrastructure which results in power outages that may last days or weeks.
- Planned De-Energization Events – Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPSs)
PSPSs are a newer, more proactive solution where utility companies shut off power during extreme and dangerous weather conditions to reduce the changes of wildfires breaking out in high-risk areas. Numerous high-risk areas have been identified in California and, for that reason, these events are anything but out of the ordinary for California residents and businesses.
- Supply Shortages
As mentioned above, hot California summers can result in low electricity generation. At the same time, electricity demand peaks during periods of extreme heat as, people tend to use their air conditioning all at the same time. Because of this, the grid will be challenged and will struggle to meet the energy demands.
All these factors listed above, substantially increase the risk of power outages. We know that, in today’s world, the majority of industries and businesses rely on electricity to be operational and to provide their goods and services to their customer base. Therefore, these hazards cannot be ignored. We want to ensure that you and your businesses are safe, with the ability to still maximize your uptime. We can support you by maintaining your existing generators, upgrading you to a new generator where it makes sense, or providing backup power generation solutions.
Contact us for more information. Our team is always happy to help!
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