SAN DIEGO — More than 115,000 homes and business lost power Sunday after San Diego Gas & Electric was ordered to reduce power consumption because of a fluctuation in the statewide power grid.
The utility posted on Twitter that it was ordered to “shed load” by the statewide power authority and reduce demand for power by 150 megawatts.
The CAISO ordered us to drop 150 MW of load in our service territory at around 1:15. All service is being restored now.
— SDG&E (@SDGE) September 20, 2015
The California Independent Systems Organization near Sacramento, which oversees the distribution of power to about 80 percent of California, said they were aware of the SDGE report. They were still assessing the situation.
Power was restored about 3 p.m., CalISO spokeswoman Anne Gonzales said.
“At 11:53 a.m., a substantial generator in San Diego went down,” Gonzales said. “When something like that happens, other lines can get overloaded.”
“It was hot in San Diego and there was a lot of demand at that time. We interrupted service on some lines to keep other lines from overloading,” Gonzales said. “We had to redirect some things to get things under control and prevent a larger outage.”
A megawatt impacts about 650 customers, according to Gonzales.
That means if every home or business in the 150-megawatt area taken off the grid Sunday was affected, as many as 97,500 customers could have been blacked out during the outage.
California Highway Patrol officers said vehicles were speeding through intersections with disabled signals in the eastern part of Oceanside.
In Clairemont, a movie theater was blacked out and evacuated. Moviegoers told FOX5 they were going to wait outside until the power was restored. Some of them said they were at the air conditioned movie theater to escape the heat at their homes.
CalISO matches electric demand to available power from generating companies. Its automated website said the state had 48,000 megawatts of power available at mid-afternoon.