Several neighborhoods across the Bay Area had to endure rolling blackouts Tuesday night, even though they didn’t have to.
The California Independent System Operator said that while they were dangerously closed to ordering power companies to begin rolling blackouts, they never gave the order.
However, power companies in Alameda, Palo Alto and Healdsburg triggered rolling blackouts anyway.
Palo Alto Utility told NBC Bay Area it cut power to about 1700 customers Tuesday evening. Many residents said it wasn’t the actual blackout that concerned them, but rather how and why it happened.
Residents’ lights were out for less than an hour at around 6:30 p.m.
“It wasn’t that inconvenient because it was short,” Palo Alto resident Tatiana Van Houten said. “If it lasted longer, it might have been pretty inconvenient.”
Palo Alto, Alameda and Healdsburg are customers of the Northern California Power Agency, a non-profit collective of several smaller independent power agencies.
Cal ISO said in a tweet it never told anyone to shut off power last night. But Alameda and Palo Alto issued statements saying they got direct orders from NCPA to start cutting power.
People are now wondering where the miscommunication occurred.
Longtime Palo Alto resident Brooke Kline said while the blackout was only a minor inconvenience for her, she worries about what it may have meant for those with health issues.
“I think for people who need the air conditioning on or they have ventilators or any of that kind of stuff…we live in a neighborhood where there’s a lot of older people, so that is kind of a concern,” she said.
A home in the neighborhood was having new solar panels installed and workers said demand has started to go up with the high temperatures and renewed threats of rolling blackouts.
“It’s probably there brownouts that really seem to take it home,” explained Mark Lobeue with Solar Techonologies. “The fact that they’re having to run their air conditioning a lot longer, that seems to be the driving point.”
Source: NBC Bay Area