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PG&E creates new online tool for customers as rotating blackouts threaten California power grid

Posted at 1:31 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 20:44:43-04

California’s power grid operators are keeping a wary eye on the thermometer as a heat wave stresses the electrical system. Meanwhile in Kern County, residents are keeping an eye on their electric devices.

Pacific Gas and Electric spokeswoman Katie Allen stating that in response to the California Independent System Operator’s recent calls for utilities to reduce load by instituting rotating outages, PG&E developed a tool to help customers see how they might be affected. The online tool allows customers to look up their circuit block and subblock. They can then look for their block and subblock on a table of "forecasted outages for the day."

Rotating outages are organized by circuit blocks dispersed across PG&E's service area and sequenced to minimize the amount of disruption for each customer.

Based on current energy supply forecasts, rotating power outages are likely to occur Tuesday. Extreme heat is forecasted to last at least through Thursday.

PG&E urges customers to conserve electricity in response to the California Independent System Operator’s statewide Flex Alert called for Tuesday from 3 to 10 p.m.

The state avoided rolling blackouts on Monday.

The California Independent System Operator had expected to make utilities start rotating blackouts to as many as 3.3 million homes and businesses. But the grid operator didn't push the emergency button, saying slightly lower temperatures and customer conservation eased the load.

Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom is demanding an investigation into two smaller blackouts on Friday and Saturday.

Temperatures are expected to hit triple digits again in many areas.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.