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California’s Next Electricity Headache Is a Looming Shortage

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(Bloomberg) — As if California doesn’t have enough problems with its electric service, now regulators warn the state may be short on power supplies by 2021 if utilities don’t start lining up new resources now.
In the hopes of heading off a shortfall, the California Public Utilities Commission has ordered the state’s electricity providers to secure 3.3 additional gigawatts of reserve supplies. That’s enough to power roughly 2.5 million homes. Half of it must be in place by 2021 and the rest by August 2023.
The move comes as California is already struggling to accommodate increasingly large amounts of solar power that regularly send electricity prices plunging below zero and force other generators offline so the region’s grid doesn’t overload. The state is also still reeling from a series of deliberate mass blackouts that utilities imposed last month to keep their power lines from sparking wildfires amid strong winds. And its largest power company, PG&E Corp., went bankrupt in January.

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