California’s electricity system may be severely out of service due to a combination of high potassium levels, high electrical conductivity, and a lack of electricity transmission capacity, according to a new report from the California Department of Energy.
The state’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, or DEP, released the report on Wednesday, describing the situation as an “unprecedented and complex event.”
The state’s emergency services are currently working to restore the power grid to normal, but the problem will likely take weeks or months to fully fix.
The Department of Public Utilities estimates the total electricity loss caused by the event is more than $100 million.
But it is not clear how much the state will have to recover, and officials have not said how long the outage will last.
“If the emergency services have not already recovered, we will have lost millions of dollars, and that will be a significant cost,” DEP Commissioner of Public Service John McDonough said in a statement.
The emergency services report said that, since April 1, California has lost approximately 3.3 billion kilowatt hours of power, or the equivalent of nearly 1,600 nuclear power plants.
The state estimates that, if the event had occurred on July 4, 2016, the total loss would have been more than 2.8 billion kilowsatt hours.
In addition to the nuclear and power plant losses, the report estimated that, for the entire duration of the outage, there has been an average loss of 1.9 megawatt hours, or nearly $7 billion.
The utility reported that there are approximately 4,000 nuclear power plant owners in California, with about 1,500 operating under different operating licenses, and more than 1,000 on standby.
The report does not estimate the total cost to the state of the power outage.
The DEP report said the power loss has affected residents in San Francisco, Orange County, Ventura, Santa Ana, Sacramento, Sacramento County, and Orange, as well as other counties in the San Joaquin Valley.
It also said that about 10 percent of the population lives within a mile of one of the affected sites, and it has not been possible to verify whether those affected areas are within or outside the San Francisco Bay Area.
The report does, however, say that the state has begun to receive reports from residents who live in those areas, and the utility is working with the California Highway Patrol to collect information about potential travel routes.
The California Department and the U.S. Department of Justice are working together to investigate the incident and work with the affected communities to identify ways to mitigate the effects of the blackout.