The California System Operator expects the demand for power to exceed supplies as the state endures the first heatwave of the season.
The problem is expected to be at its worst Thursday night, following a heatwave that is about to settle in throughout Northern California in the upcoming days. Because of the dramatic rise in temperature, California will not be able to import as much power as it normally does and low hydropower reserves will make blackouts more likely.
Cal ISO predicts power outages will impact more than 2.6 million homes statewide. Hydropower, which generates nearly 13% of California's electricity, is near a record low as water levels have sunk to their lowest levels in five years in reservoirs across the state. Officials are warning people to begin conserving energy now in preparation for grid blackouts and rising temperatures. Preparation could include setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, avoiding the use of major appliances, and turning off unnecessary lights.