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Californian hopes of cooler future because of batteries boost

Californian hopes of cooler future rise as the world’s biggest battery storage system come on stream.

Prisoner helping fireman.Image: By USAF Master Sgt. Brian Ferguson

California is facing restrictions on importing power from other states in the western US due to heatwaves in those regions and rising power demand. It has also been shutting down fossil fuel-burning power plants.

“By charging during solar production on off-peak hours and delivering energy to the grid during times of peak demand for power, our battery storage projects improve electric reliability, reduce costs and help our state meet its climate objectives”, said John King of LS Power, the New York-based power development company operating the project.

In the Central Valley area of the state, one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, daytime temperatures have soared to more than 40°C.

In Death Valley, a desert area in southern California reached 54°C – which could be the highest temperature reliably recorded anywhere in the world.

Further north, residents of Sacramento, the state capital, baked as temperatures reached over 40°C on consecutive days – more than 7°C above normal for the time of year.

“The hot is getting hotter, the dry’s are getting drier”, Newsom said in a video message to delegates participating in a virtual convention of the Democratic Party. Climate change is real. If you are in denial about climate change, come to California.

The extreme heat has led to increased storm activity in many areas of the state and a series of lightning strikes which, in turn, have caused an outbreak of wildfires. Several as the fires have raged out of control over hundreds of thousands of acres.

The prisoners who have been used as the helper of fight fires are no longer available: either they’ve either been placed in quarantine or released in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Originally written by Kieran Cooke for Climate News Network.

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