The state's decision nearly a century ago to go it alone when it comes to electricity still has ramifications today.
California faces more potential rolling blackouts this year due to a historic drought. But the state's deregulated power system also plays a role, and dates back to the Enron scandal.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently approved a California proposal that prioritizes its own power needs in a crunch.
The load can overwhelm the electric grid during heat waves, but this summer's outages have raised new questions.
As the risk of wildfire and natural disasters increase with climate change, power disruptions could become more common.