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Rotating blackouts possible in Northern California as soaring temperatures stress power grid

KXTV-TV Sacramento logo KXTV-TV Sacramento 6/18/2021 Matthew Nuttle

Nearly two dozen counties are on alert for possible rotating power outages, Thursday night, as California sits in the grip of a dangerous heat wave with record-high temperatures.

The Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) said it has begun contacting residents in the affected counties. According to PG&E, the outages could begin around 7 p.m. and impact approximately 121,000 customers. The rotations could last one or two hours, a press release from PG&E stated.

According to PG&E spokesperson Megan McFarland, the counties that could potentially be impacted by the rotating outages include:

Alameda, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Marin, Merced, Monterey, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonora, Sutter, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba.

RELATED: How to get through a power outage amid a heatwave

California Independent System Operator (CAISO) warned of possible rotating outages after scorching-hot temperatures were forecasted to last from Thursday through Saturday.

CAISO, which oversees the larger power grid and balances energy demand with supply, warns that says that the demand for electricity could exceed the available supply.

PG&E says the possible outages are not related to a Public Safety Power Shutoff, which is implemented when fire weather conditions are high. Similarly, CAISO said it has not called for rotating outages but is just warning residents to be prepared.

Read more from ABC10

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