California energy leaders say planning failures led to August blackouts

California’s rolling blackouts this summer were caused largely by a combination of planning failures that led to a lack of adequate power supplies, state energy leaders told Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday.



A deer walks through dry grass beneath high voltage power lines seen from Terrace Drive in El Cerrito in September.


© Jessica Christian / The Chronicle

A deer walks through dry grass beneath high voltage power lines seen from Terrace Drive in El Cerrito in September.


Electricity demand exceeded what the state had secured because of an extreme heat wave, fueled by climate change, that affected areas across the Western United States, three crucial energy agencies said in a report about the outages. That’s in line with what grid managers have maintained since the blackouts happened in August.

Current energy resource procedures “are not designed to fully address an extreme heat storm like the one experienced in mid-August,” said top officials at the California Independent System Operator, the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission.

Read More