Restoration Begins After PG&E Ordered To Shutoff Power For 200,000 To 250,000 Customers Due To Heatwave

Power Lines 1
Photo credit Matt Bigler/KCBS Radio

Pacific Gas & Electric officials said that restoration should be completed by 11 p.m., after the utility was directed to turn off power to about 200,000 to 250,000 customers at a time in rotating outages Friday night.

"Crunch-time has passed and we are now restoring power," Anne Gonzales, Senior Public Information Officer with the California Independent System Operator, told KCBS Radio.

The outages come after the California ISO declared a Stage 3 Electrical Emergency due to the statewide heatwave and increased electricity demand. A Stage 3 Emergency is declared when demand outpaces available supply.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) is declaring a Stage 3 Electrical Emergency due tohigh heat and increased electricity demand. The emergency initiates rotating outages throughout thestate.

— California ISO (@California_ISO) August 15, 2020

PG&E reported outages in multiple areas, including San Rafael, San Anselmo, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Guerneville and Bodega Bay. Outages were also reported in Vallejo, American Canyon, Pacheco, Clayton, San Mateo, Burlingame, Belmont, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, East San Jose and Milpitas.

Thank you for your patience. Directed by CA's grid operator, PG&E initiated a power outage earlier this evening. Impacted customers are being restored, with full restoration expected by 11 p.m. No more outages of this type are planned for this evening.

— PG&E (@PGE4Me) August 15, 2020

Californians are being urged to continue to conserve power.

PG&E said the rotating outages were not Public Safety Power Shutoffs, which are conducted during specific high fire threat conditions.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch that will last into next week.