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Thread: Electric-Car Owners Hard Hit by Massive California Power Shutdown

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    Electric-Car Owners Hard Hit by Massive California Power Shutdown

    Oops.

    Nature built California to burn. And there's only so much Elon Musk, Pacific Gas & Electric, or anyone else can do to diminish that.

    "All Tesla Supercharger stations in regions affected by California power outages will have Tesla Powerpacks within next few weeks," Elon Musk tweeted this morning in response to PG&E's shutoff of power to several California regions in order to minimize the risk of wildfire from high winds. "Just waiting on permits."
    The logic behind the planned power outages is explained on PG&E's special website dedicated to tracking and preparing for them. "To protect public safety, PG&E has turned off power due to gusty winds and dry conditions combined with a heightened fire risk," the site explains. "Once the weather subsides and it is safe to do so, PG&E crews will begin patrolling power lines, repairing damaged equipment, and restoring customers."

    These aren't short-term outages where the major consequence is missing the morning’s episode of The Price Is Right. "Outages (weather event plus restoration time) could last longer than 48 hours," the company warns. "For planning purposes, PG&E suggests customers prepare for outages that could last several days."

    On the second day of the outages, the Wall Street Journal reports 700,000-plus customers are without power in Northern California, including areas such as the East Bay abutting Berkeley and Oakland.

    And if there's one place where Tesla sells a lot of cars, it's the East Bay. Not only does the area contain Fremont, the city where the Tesla assembly plant is located, it's also maybe the place most politically attuned to the idea and aspirations of electric-car ownership. And there's plenty of money there to purchase such vehicles.
    Ah, but there's this:
    Tesla owners may, in many instances, be better prepared for such outages than those without electric vehicles. The Tesla Powerwall 2 home battery can provide power for a home for up to seven days, claims Tesla. For Californians with solar power installations and the horsepower to afford $14,100 for the batteries plus a few grand more for installation, they may never have to experience a single sip of warm kombucha.
    “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” —Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.

    "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.

    "What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.” ―Robert F. Kennedy.

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    Guess if a person can afford a Tesla, they can afford their own personal home electric power company.

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    What surprised me most about the rolling blackouts is that the people with solar panels on their homes are also equally screwed. Those panels only feed energy back into the grid, and when it goes down, so do the panels. I thought they could at least provide some energy direct to the homeowner.

    Crazy.
    You can't spell "hatred" without "red hat".

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    A cousin used to work for PG&E and we were talking about this a few days ago.
    California passed some laws and now they are getting exactly what they deserve.
    That 20 billion dollar lawsuit doesn't look so good now, does it?
    Get off the cross, we need the wood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gary m View Post
    A cousin used to work for PG&E and we were talking about this a few days ago.
    California passed some laws and now they are getting exactly what they deserve.
    That 20 billion dollar lawsuit doesn't look so good now, does it?
    They've known for at least 30 years that they ought to have been gradually replacing the power lines with buried ones, but the shareholders expect big returns, so the company does the cheapest infrastructure maintenance they can get away with. We pay at least 5x as much per KW here as we did in Florida, yet somehow there's never enough money to make the power grid safer and more durable. We're not talking hurricanes here or even earthquakes. The power lines can't handle a little wind and hot weather.

    This is BS and everyone knows it.
    No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. This offer VALID in 35 34 33 32 31 26 20 17 15 14 13 ALL 50 states.

    The new 13 original states to stand up for freedom: CA, CT, IA, MA, DE, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT, ME, MD, NJ (plus DC).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Celeste Chalfonte View Post
    They've known for at least 30 years that they ought to have been gradually replacing the power lines with buried ones, but the shareholders expect big returns, so the company does the cheapest infrastructure maintenance they can get away with. We pay at least 5x as much per KW here as we did in Florida, yet somehow there's never enough money to make the power grid safer and more durable. We're not talking hurricanes here or even earthquakes. The power lines can't handle a little wind and hot weather.

    This is BS and everyone knows it.
    This Newseek article by Victor Davis Hanson is dated July 1, 2015:

    California Is Becoming a Dust Bowl
    Last December, the first large storms in three years drenched California, offering hope that plentiful rain and snow would bring the state's record drought, both natural and man-made, to an end.

    But that hope was in vain. Now, amid a fourth year of drought, canal water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park still keeps Silicon Valley and the rest of the Bay Area a verdant oasis.

    This parched coastal mountain range would have been depopulated long ago without the infrastructure that an earlier, wiser generation built and that latter-day regulators and environmentalists so casually deprecated.
    In the 1970s, coastal elites squelched California's near-century-long commitment to building dams, reservoirs and canals, even as the Golden State's population ballooned. Court-ordered drainage of man-made lakes, meant to restore fish to the 1,100-square-mile Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, partly caused central California's reservoir water to dry up.

    Not content with preventing construction of new water infrastructure, environmentalists reverse-engineered existing projects to divert precious water away from agriculture, privileging the needs of fish over the needs of people. Then they alleged that global warming, not their own foolish policies, had caused the current crisis.

    I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley during the 1950s. In those days, some old-timers remembered with fondness when the undammed Kings River's wild, white water would gush down into the sparsely populated valley. But most Californians never had such nostalgia.

    Past generations accepted that California was a growing state (with some 20 million people by 1970), that agriculture was its premier industry, and that the state fed not just its own people but millions across America and overseas. All of that required redistribution of water—and thus dams, reservoirs and irrigation canals.

    For 50 years, the state transferred surface water from Northern California to the Central Valley through the California State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project. Given these vast and ambitious initiatives, Californians didn't worry much about the occasional one- or two-year drought or the steady growth in population. . . .
    Hanson's account of the decline is thorough and gloomy reading. I bumped into a link to his piece while reading this PJMedia piece by Stephen Green about the current crisis (no pun intended, maybe):

    California Turns Off a Lot More Than Just the Lights with Forced Blackouts
    Going solar isn’t necessarily any protection from California’s new “planned” power outages, and local residents and businesses are enduring a lot more than just a few inconveniences.
    Martin quotes Sunrun Chairman Ed Fenster explaining that solar power with local battery storage is “the perfect combination for getting through these shutdowns,” although he fails to mention just what an expensive proposition that is, especially in the rural areas most affected by California’s return to the primitive. Fester, whose company sells those very batteries, expects battery sales “to boom” now that the promised blackouts have begun.

    If you’re wondering what that smell is, it’s the scent of crony capitalism — and it stinks.

    At UC Berkeley, where you’d expect all this planet-saving to be applauded, at least one student is probably less than thrilled. ABC7 reports that biochem grad student Sarah Morris says that the recent outage — again, a planned and on-purpose outage — “may have destroyed two years of her ground-breaking cancer research, valued at $500,000.” If you’re wondering what its value could have been to cancer victims who now might never receive the benefits of Morris’s research, I suspect you’re not alone.

    Electric-Car Owners Shocked by California Blackouts

    Ironically, given that the blackouts are called "Public Safety Power Shut-Offs," the California public is enjoying less safety every time the power goes off. Even PG&E, who you would think might be better prepared for its own planned blackouts, is affected. PG&E CEO Bill Johnson admitted last week, “Our website crashed several times. Our maps are inconsistent and maybe incorrect. Our call centers were overloaded." He added, "To put it simply, we were not adequately prepared to support the operational event."

    Way up north in my old stomping grounds of Eureka, Calif., you can see the immediate damage. The WSJ spoke with Melanie Bettenhausen, who runs the Eureka location of the local North Coast Co-Op grocery chain — at least for now. (Full disclosure: I was a regular customer in the early ‘90s.) The Journal reports:

    Ms. Bettenhausen, 44 years old, worked 34 hours straight to keep the store open, using generators to run the registers and dry ice to cool the food.

    When she arrived Thursday morning, the walk-in refrigerator was full of spoiled dairy products. All of it—tens of thousands of dollars worth of food—would have to be thrown away. “I don’t even know yet if we’re going to make it through this one,” she said. “Anyone looking at providing for their family and maintaining a living in this area has to be making plans.”
    Victor Davis Hanson noted five years ago that the region “would have been depopulated long ago without the infrastructure that an earlier, wiser generation built and that latter-day regulators and environmentalists so casually deprecated.” In the time since VDH wrote those words, Sacramento has grown only more hostile to the kind of infrastructure projects required by the state’s huge population.
    And now, rather than clear the scrub, which makes California’s inherent wildfire problem so much worse, they’re turning out the lights — on the state’s people, on their medical research, on their businesses, on the state's very future. So if you were thinking of telling the last person to leave California to turn the lights off, don't bother -- they'll be off already.
    “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” —Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.

    "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.

    "What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.” ―Robert F. Kennedy.

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    I'm happy they turned off the lights. Maybe in the quiet darkness, Californians will start to wake up.

    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celeste Chalfonte View Post
    They've known for at least 30 years that they ought to have been gradually replacing the power lines with buried ones, but the shareholders expect big returns, so the company does the cheapest infrastructure maintenance they can get away with. We pay at least 5x as much per KW here as we did in Florida, yet somehow there's never enough money to make the power grid safer and more durable. We're not talking hurricanes here or even earthquakes. The power lines can't handle a little wind and hot weather.

    This is BS and everyone knows it.
    That's how government micromanagement works. If government sets and enforces standards that's all a company does. There's no room to innovate or improve.
    "What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer."

    link

    Time will tell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    What surprised me most about the rolling blackouts is that the people with solar panels on their homes are also equally screwed. Those panels only feed energy back into the grid, and when it goes down, so do the panels. I thought they could at least provide some energy direct to the homeowner.

    Crazy.
    Well, they could get some power back but only if they bought the battery bank and associated hardware, which naturally means they are ineligible for the subsidies financing the installation in the first place.

    Without the batteries, if the grid goes down, it all goes down.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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