Looming California Heat Wave May Strain Electricity Supplies

California is about to get hit with a heat wave that could strain electricity supplies and will require all power plants to be available, managers of the state’s grid warned.

“Triple-digit heat” is expected to begin Tuesday and last through June 18, though it’s not expected to trigger rolling blackouts like those that left more than a million Californians in the dark last August, the California Independent System Operator said Friday. Demand for electricity will likely surge enough that the agency advised power plant operators to defer scheduled maintenance, starting Wednesday afternoon.

In August, a powerful heat wave triggered California’s first rolling blackouts in 20 years. In response, the state ordered utility companies to line up extra power supplies for this summer. And giant batteries have been plugged into California’s grid to provide extra power in a pinch, a system that may get its first test next week.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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