Power outages are no longer just a rural problem – ask anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area!
Spikes, surges, brownouts, and blackouts all have one thing in common: They were once looked at as telltale signs of aging, poorly maintained equipment. For the most part, a power analysis would show that the worst utility performance was centered on areas 50 or more miles from a city.
The last three years have seen hundreds of blackouts centered on major cities.
The Bay Area is at particular risk of blackouts. A recent study by power analysis experts uncovered that San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland have been struck by a combined total of over 3,200 blackouts in the period between October 2017 and December 2019.
The worst month was October 2019, featuring more than 3,600 blackout events across the state. While many of these were associated with PG&E, a dozen major utilities had significant blackouts during the years studied. Many attributed these to weather events outside their control.
California Utilities Have Given Up on 24-Hour Service as a Matter of Policy
It is clear that recent overtures toward modernizing California’s power grid will not solve outages in the near future. At the highest levels of utilities and the government, these outages are seen as the result of factors no one can control – and now, that’s the basis of utility policy.
Nearly 3.5 million electric customers have been affected by blackouts in major Bay Area cities alone. In many cases, these blackouts were sudden and came without warning. Commercial and residential customers were impacted, up to and including hospitals.
Since then, the risk of power outages has increased.
Utilities seem to have taken the lesson that the best way to protect their bottom line is planned outages. Referred to as Public Safety Power Shutoffs, these events can last for days. Unfortunately, even though they are scheduled in advance, the public is often the last to know about them.
Businesses Need Power Analysis to Protect Themselves Now and in the Future
Individually, there’s little a local business owner can do about climate change or the Golden State’s declining energy grid. However, hope is not lost: You can still protect your business and customers.
Come back soon for the second post in this series to learn how power analysis protects you from the future of blackouts. For immediate help, contact Nite & Day Power.