California energy use soars to highest level in years in record heat

With millions of homes and businesses turning on air conditioners to cope with temperatures exceeding 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 Celsius), electricity use in the largest state of EU It will reach 48.9 gigawatts on Monday, the most since 2017. Keep as much as possible, warning that the system could fall short as much as 4 gigawatts.

“California has been ridiculously hot and will be for a good part of the week,” Bob Oravec, a senior meteorologist with the US Weather Prediction Center, said in an interview.

The prospect of blackouts underscores how vulnerable grids have become to extreme weather conditions as they switch from fossil fuels to renewables. California has aggressively shut down natural gas power plants in recent years, leaving the state increasingly reliant on solar farms that shut down late in the day when demand for electricity peaks. At the same time, the state is enduring its worst drought in 1,200 years, sapping hydroelectric power production.

Much of California is under an excessive heat advisory for the next four days. Sacramento could reach 113 on Monday and 115 on Tuesday breaking records for those days, Oravec said. The center of The Angels it hit 103 on Sunday, which was the first time the temperature had topped 100 this year.

The heat wave, which began the last week of August, is notable for both its ferocity and its duration, officials said.

With each passing day of heat, the risk of power outages increases. Scorching temperatures seep into the concrete over time, making it increasingly difficult to cool buildings. And the longer power plants run at full speed, the more likely they are to break down.

An emergency network watch is in effect for Monday night. California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued an emergency proclamation to release additional power supplies.

The fight to keep power flowing in California is complicated by wildfires near Los Angeles and San Diego that are threatening transmission lines and power plants, though there were no major outages as of Sunday afternoon, according to Elliot. Mainzer, CEO of California. Independent System Operator, which manages the state network.

A break from the heat will come to Southern California later this week, thanks to Tropical Storm Kay in the Pacific Ocean, Oravec said.

Strengthening into a hurricane later this week, Kay is forecast to skirt the coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. As it moves north, the storm will pump moisture and clouds into southern California and Arizona, reducing heat.

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