Why Does California Have So Many Power Outages?

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California has a lot of people and businesses. All of those take up a lot of resources. Power is just one of those resources. In this blog, we will explain why this competition for electricity makes blackouts and outages so common in California.

How Utilities Work in California

The basic reason comes down to the fact that electricity is a finite resource due to the amount of infrastructure we have. It’s simply not able to keep up with the intense demand. We’ll explain more. California is essentially divided up into sectors for various utility companies. These private companies work in concert with government regulatory bodies to ensure they aren’t fighting with each other and harming consumers.

As part of this regulation, the California ISO monitors the statewide grid to prevent an energy crisis. In some cases, this involves implementing rotating power outages to ensure there isn’t a disaster caused. The ISO makes sure essential community resources like fire departments and hospitals keep power. However, this causes residential homes to lose electricity as a result.

Fire Risk

The other side of blackouts is to mitigate the risk of wildfires. Utility companies have been linked to some of the largest and most dangerous wildfires in recent years. With an aging infrastructure, equipment is more likely to fail and cause the first spark that ignites a raging fire. To respond to this, California ISO has to use strategic blackouts in areas of high risk to prevent a wildfire from starting.

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