Concerns Persist – Will San Diego Have Blackouts this This Summer?

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Managers of California’s electric grid issued a note of caution to San Diego-area utility customers Thursday in anticipation of peak summer power demands.

State officials and utility executives confirmed that Southern California is well prepared for peak electricity demands that come with a surge in air conditioning. The San Diego area, however, continues to be singled out as a point of vulnerability if critical power plants or transmission lines were to fail unexpectedly.

“SDG&E expects our region to have adequate supplies for the summer, despite the forecast of warmer-than-normal temperatures,” said Steven Davis, president of SDG&E, at a news conference in San Diego. “Having said that, we may very well have tight conditions this summer that necessitate the need to call for energy conservation from our customers.”

A rash of San Diego County wildfires in May highlighted environmental threats to the grid. Fires and even thick smoke can incapacitate transmission lines and sustained, widespread heatwaves can reduce the amount of available power imports that San Diego and California rely on to meet peak demands.

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