Energy agencies’ analysis concludes extreme, climate-related heat wave and a lack of planning were the primary causes of California’s August power outages

Press Release

Oct 8 2020

AWEA-California: “The only surefire solution to preventing outages in the future is state leadership and action on clean energy.”

SACRAMENTO – October 08, 2020 -The American Wind Energy Association of California (AWEA-California) released this statement today on behalf of Director Danielle Osborn Mills, following the release by the CAISO, CPUC, and CEC of their preliminary root cause analysis of the August 14th and August 15th rolling blackouts:

“The root cause analysis provides a thorough overview of the causes of the statewide power outages in mid-August—and concludes that ‘no single factor’ was responsible for this summer’s power issues. The analysis instead attributes the outages to a combination of an ‘extreme, climate change-related heat wave,’ a clear lack of planning, and other market constructs that exacerbated the situation.”

“The analysis confirms that wind and solar generation performed largely as expected during the heat wave—and the report cites a ramp-up in wind power for allowing the state to cancel the Stage 3 Emergency and end the blackouts on August 15. The report also highlights significant wind resources in other states that were available to California throughout the heat wave, but could not be brought online due to transmission issues and market barriers.”

“More than a third of California’s power is now provided by renewable energy, but it is clear from this new analysis that our renewable grid is not yet fully built out. To achieve its climate and energy reliability targets, California must find ways to roughly double its renewable energy capacity over the next decade. We have the renewable resources and the technology we need. What’s required now is state leadership and action to bring them online.”

“As the root cause analysis notes, there is no ‘single’ technology or solution that will achieve California’s energy goals. Instead, the state must develop a diverse, reliable portfolio of renewable energy and storage resources—and it will need to dramatically accelerate its efforts to permit, build, and connect these projects to the grid before the next heat wave.”

“The only surefire solution to preventing outages in the future is state leadership and action on clean energy. Governor Newsom and his Administration have clearly made climate policy a priority in the wake of this year’s wildfires and heat events. This new analysis gives the state the opportunity to take proactive and positive steps toward accelerating the state’s renewable progress, which should include working with other Western states. AWEA and our partners look forward to working with the Governor, Legislature, and state agencies, to quickly put the processes in place to accomplish this goal—and to bring online the significant quantities of wind and other renewable energy available offshore, across California, and throughout the West.”

Become a Member

Elevate Your Business with Insider Access:

  • Policy Direction: Your voice in critical industry discussions.
  • Exclusive Networking: Learn directly from key players in clean energy.
  • Insider Information: First-hand access to policy insights and premier events.
  • Advanced Tools: Our proprietary data at your fingertips to drive growth.

Act now to become a defining part of clean energy’s future.

Stay informed

Take Action

Subscribe to American Clean Power and receive the latest clean energy news, policy updates, and opportunities to get involved.