A big-scale centrifugal system in the U.S. has gone down, leaving residents of several communities in California scrambling to find a replacement generator.
The California Department of Water Resources says the big-gigawatt, 6,000-megawatt turbine-powered generator in Riverside, Calif., went down last week, causing power outages across Southern California.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has also condemned the outage, calling it an “unprecedented disaster” that is threatening “public health, safety, and the environment.”
The agency says a large-scale power outage will cause significant damage to infrastructure and food production, particularly for farmers who depend on large amounts of agricultural produce for their livelihoods.
The outage is the latest in a string of major failures to date for California’s power grid.
The state has been struggling with a massive surge in greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s now the second-most polluting state after California, which is the biggest exporter of greenhouse gases.
In 2017, it recorded more than 50,000 premature deaths, according to the California Department’s Office of Emergency Management.