Rotating Power Outage Caused By Heatwave Impacts 220,000 PG&E Customers

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 07: A Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) truck sits at the scene of a three-alarm fire that started after a construction crew hit a gas line on February 07, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
Photo credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Just minutes after PG&E tweeted that it initiated a rotating blackout impacting about 200,000 to 250,000 customers Saturday night at the order of the California Independent System Operator, officials with the ISO said they cancelled the Stage 3 Electrical Emergency. 

At roughly 6:49 p.m., the utility tweeted that it had initiated a blackout at the order of the ISO. 

At direction of California’s Grid Operator- PG&E has initiated a rotating outage impacting approximately 200K - 250k customers. More information to come. Please conserve energy. Thank you for your patience. https://t.co/O213eqyJpF

— PG&E (@PGE4Me) August 16, 2020

Just a few minutes later, ISO officials told KCBS Radio that they had cancelled the Stage 3 Emergency, moving the state back down to a Stage 2 Emergency. 

PG&E said the outages were initiated and are impacting approximately 220,000 customers in portions of the Central Coast and Central Valley, including Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Joaquin counties.

Restoration is already underway. 

CA’s Grid Operator Directs PG&E to Initiate Power Outages Tonight – Affecting Approx. 220k Customers – Restoration Underway – PG&E Is Not Calling A Public Safety Power Shutoff https://t.co/Rn62TD0rxy pic.twitter.com/6Q9mCgY59S

— PG&E (@PGE4Me) August 16, 2020

No customers should be impacted overnight.

Altogether, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric turned off power to more than 410,000 homes and businesses for about an hour before the Stage 3 Emergency was lifted.

A Stage 3 Emergency prompts an order to utilities to begin shutting off power due to the statewide heatwave and increased electricity demand. Such an emergency is declared when demand outpaces available supply.

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