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California Energy Experts Prepare For Another Hot Summer

Three power poles with intersecting power lines are shown with a bright and hot-looking yellow sunset in the background.
The sun sets behind power lines and poles in Rosemead, California
(Frederic J. Brown
/
AFP/Getty Images)
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Last week, Californians across the state experienced the first heatwave of the summer, and the rising temperatures show no signs of letting up: authorities have issued another excessive heat warning in the L.A. area through Monday night.

With this sweltering heat comes a high demand for power. The worry is that Californians could cause a repeat of last August, where some people endured two nights of rolling blackouts.

“It's going to be touch-and-go for the next couple of months,” said Katherine Blunt, who covers renewable energy and utilities for The Wall Street Journal. “I think there's some cautious optimism that grid operators can avoid rolling blackouts again this year, but it's very much incumbent upon the hydroelectric power supply and some other variables that are going to drain supply.”

To prepare, Elliot Mainzer, the CEO of California Independent System Operator, said that new resources scheduled to go into effect this summer need to be expedited.

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“We need to break down any barriers to getting them on the grid,” he said, “particularly the batteries which are going to play a very important role after sunset.”

An excessive heat watch is currently in effect for the Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley, and inland mountains through Monday evening.