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California orders rolling blackouts for up to 250,000 homes and businesses

California utility companies are rolling out a massive blackout across the state that could impact some 250,000 homes and businesses, in an effort to curb electricity shortages as more people stay home during the pandemic. 

Grid managers last implemented such a power cut in 2001, when the state was suffering from an electric crisis. On late Friday, the California Independent System Operator declared a Stage 3 emergency, Bloomberg reports. 

Residents in the state still took to the beach on Friday, however, enjoying the blazing heat. 

LIGHTS OUT: South Pasadena has gone dark after Cal ISO declared a statewide Stage 3 Electrical Emergency, prompting rolling power outages https://t.co/alu4T00hpw pic.twitter.com/yogVInMjmm

This comes as residents are forced to spend more time at home during the pandemic and are using their A/C units more. 

San Joaquin Valley is set to have blazing temperatures of 112 degrees Fahrenheit. Los Angeles is expected to reach 96 degrees. 

As many as 250,000 homes and businesses served by Pacific Gas and Electric Co, could be impacted by the outage, according to the company. 

They noted that counterparts in other areas of the state were ‘being directed to take similar actions,’ the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

In the San Diego and southern Orange counties areas, Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric utility said one-hour rotating shutoffs will be ‘widespread’ across its territory. 

‘The California ISO is working closely with California utilities and neighboring power systems to manage strain on the grid and to restore the power grid to full capacity,’ the agency said in a Friday statement. 

The National Weather Service forecast an extensive heat wave starting this weekend and lasting until late next week. Excessive heat warnings have been issued for much of California for Friday through Wednesday.

Solar generators for the state will also be impacted as cloud cover from tropical storm Elida is expected to crimp output.  

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