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California Blacks Out, Florida Powers On

Due to a heatwave, California tells its residents to use less electricity or risk blackouts. At the same time, the state is pushing for residents to trade in their gas-powered cars for electric vehicles. Florida is also experiencing record heat, but the power grid is more stable than ever.

In California, a “flex emergency,” which is a precursor to rolling blackouts – was declared on Tuesday due to a record heat wave, driving up power consumption. The California Independent System Operator advised that rolling blackouts may happen, should power demand not go down. “If needed, ISO could order utilities to begin rotating power outages to maintain stability of the electric grid. If that occurs, consumers should expect communications – either phone, text or email – from their utilities notifying them of outage areas and likely durations,” the organization said in a statement.


The state has set a goal of transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. Nuclear, coal and natural gas-powered power generation plants have aggressively been shut down to be replaced with solar and wind farms. This is similar to many Western European countries, which are now experiencing a tremendous energy crisis since “renewable” sources simply are unable to effectively deliver on demand like fossil fuels or nuclear power.

California has recently advised citizens against using too much electricity, such as charging their electric vehicles or running their air conditioners at a lower setting than 78 degrees. At the same time, the state has decided that electric cars will replace the combustion fleet by 2035 when selling new gas-powered cars will become outlawed. The state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, has also gone on the offensive against Florida governor Ron DeSantis, launching ads aimed at trying to get Floridians to leave their state for California.


But despite very hot summer weather, Florida currently has no energy emergency. After multiple hurricanes pummeled the state in 2004 and 2005, the Florida Public Service Commission and utility companies worked together to harden the grid. Measures included strengthening poles and structures to withstand extreme wind loads, placing more power lines underground, and fortifying substations against storm surges and flooding.

Investments in resiliency have also improved the everyday reliability of the power grid. Florida Power & Light installed 200,000 intelligent devices along the grid to detect issues and isolate or shorten outages before they become more significant. In 2021, the company flew more than 120,000 drone missions to assess the infrastructure.

Florida is the second-largest electricity producer after Texas, and natural gas fuels about 75 percent of Florida's total electricity net generation. The state's power grid has seen a 45 percent improvement in day-to-day reliability over the past decade. As a result, the average customer in 2021 experienced the fewest outages and the shortest overall outage duration of any year in history.