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KPBS Midday Edition

Power outages similar to 2020 possible this summer

Power lines in Spring Valley are shown in this file photo taken Nov. 15, 2020.
KPBS Staff
Power lines in Spring Valley are shown in this file photo taken Nov. 15, 2020.

Summer is on its way and with it come the potential for blackouts in San Diego.

California energy officials are raising the possibility of power outages over the summer months due to a multitude of factors: Supply chain delays for solar power equipment, a decrease in hydroelectric power due to a depleted snowpack and possible smoke from wildfires are all problems that could leave the state short in energy capacity. Weather and the region's ongoing drought are also major factors that could lead to outages.

San Diego Union-Tribune energy reporter Rob Nikolewski says weather is a big factor as well. "We've had this drought that's been lasting and been persistent now for a few years, and that hot dry weather is really making things very, very difficult for the people who manage the grid," he said.

Nikolewski joined Midday Edition Tuesday to talk about what state officials are saying, as well as to talk about why upgrades that have been made since the blackouts that hit the area during the summer of 2020 may not be enough to stop outages this summer.