Big power outage south of silicon valley

Cross-posting this from the 'raffe.

Our power just came back on after an 11 hour outage. I see that there were 10,000 customers in my town who were affected, and there were more up and down the peninsula and south bay. I hope this isn’t the way this summer is going to go. It topped 100 degrees yesterday. It was stifling in the house last night and difficult to keep the windows open, because knuckleheads across the street found the blackout a fine opportunity to party in the street, shrieking and yammering.

Someone on nextdoor advanced a theory: the spike in gas prices has caused a spike in the purchase of electric vehicles. All those vehicles plugged in at once in addition to the air conditioning usage blew out the grid. The outage did start at about 5:30 p.m., which is when folks are arriving home from their commute.

Any other bay area Dopers from the peninsula or south bay affected by this?

Removed post. Weary of fighting formatting via phone. Sorry

Happy birthdaycake! Got a link with more details?

Here’s a story. I believe the majority of the customers suffering the outage are in my town, which is 20 miles south of San Jose.

I have no idea why there’s a birthday cake emoji next to my name. It’s not my birthday.

You joined the SDMB today. Birthdays get a full cake. :birthday:

That’s doesn’t sound right to me. I assume you guys have time-of-use rates similar to the ones we have in the Sacramento area (IIRC time-of-use rates are mandated in California, aren’t they?) In that case no EV owner would charge their car at 5:30 when electricity is the most expensive (unless, I guess, they needed to drive somewhere else later that evening and didn’t have enough charge to get there). Typically they’d set it to start charging at midnight, when electricity is cheapest.

And the spike in gas prices was in the last, what, five months? What proportion of people do you expect have replaced their cars in the past five months? And of those, what proportion do you imagine replaced them with an electric? The free market does respond to things like high gas prices, but it responds slowly.

PG&E has a zillion different rate plans, but as far as I know all have some time-of-use component, and the smart meters that enable this are ubiquitous.

It would indeed be dumb as hell to charge at 5:30 pm. My rates are about double then as they are at night. Basically every EV has scheduled charging, and it’s trivial to set that up.

I live in (North) San Jose and didn’t have an outage.

I hadn’t seen any requests to cut usage on the news last night, and I still have power in Fremont.
I suspect PG&E screwed up. They’ve been known to do that.

It does seem like the poster on nextdoor was wildly speculating when he thought that all the new EVs were responsible for the power outage.

That was a long one, though. We were careful to keep the fridge and freezer closed the whole time, and rummaged out some Christmas candles.

Where “speculating” means “spreading anti-EV FUD generated by entrenched interests.”

We’ve gone over so much of this already in our various EV threads. I don’t blame you, exactly, but social media is explicitly designed to facilitate the spread of misinformation, so that’s exactly what happens. And as they say, a lie can go halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.

What’s not FUD is that just about every year is hotter than the last, and the biggest single load is air conditioning. Climate change is responsible for the blackouts, and EVs are a necessary part of the solution.

Right now (9:51PM central time), Kern County (that giant county in south-central California) has the most outages in the state.

I’m dropping in here to point out a fact that seems largely unreported in the news:

As of Wednesday, the water level in Lake Mead was down to 1046 feet above sea level. Why is that important? The intakes for the big turbines at Hoover Dam stop taking in water when the level of Lake Mead drops below 1050 feet above sea level. Hoover Dam is off-line for generating electricity, and that’s a big chunk of Southwest power.

As of yesterday evening the water was down to 1043 feet above sea level. That’s a massive lake down 3 feet in one day.

The lights didn’t go out immediately because it’s not the only power plant in the grid, but ya’ll have lost a chunk of your electrical generating capacity. Pretty sure that’s connected somehow or other with your current woes.

Rinse and repeat for any other hydroelectric power in the Southwest - not everything is shut down but water levels are low and power just isn’t being generated at full capacity. It’s not helping the situation.