SACRAMENTO (CBS SF/AP) -– With California in the grips of a historic heat wave, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed an emergency proclamation aimed at freeing up energy capacity while additionally calling for an investigation into recent rolling blackouts.
The governor’s office issued a press release Monday morning stating that the proclamation temporarily allows some energy users and utilities to draw on backup energy sources to relieve pressure on the grid during peak times as demands brought by the heat wave continue to tax the California ISO. the energy emergency.READ MORE: UPDATE: Willow Fire Grows Past 2,000 Acres Near Big Sur, Evacuations Ordered
On Sunday, Newsom convened an all-hands meeting with California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the California Energy Commission (CEC), the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and senior administration officials as the state and the entire West Coast anticipates serious power shortages as the heat wave intensifies over the coming week.
Newsom also sent a letter demanding that the state energy commission, state public utilities commission and the California Independent System Operator investigate broad energy blackouts over two days last week that he said occurred without prior warning or enough time to prepare.
He said residents battling a heat wave and a pandemic in which they’re encouraged to stay home as much as possible were left without the basic necessity of electricity.
“I write today to express my deep concern about the broadscale de-energizations experienced by too many Californians on August 14 and 15th. These blackouts, which occurred without prior warning or enough time for preparation, are unacceptable and unbefitting of the nation’s largest and most innovative state,” Newsom wrote in the letter. “Residents, communities and other governmental organizations did not receive sufficient warning that these de-energizations could occur. Collectively, energy regulators failed to anticipate this event and to take necessary actions to ensure reliable power to Californians. This cannot stand. California residents and businesses deserve better from their government.”
Newsom said he was not informed until moments before the blackouts started and that the failure to anticipate and protect against the service disruptions was “unacceptable and unbefitting” of California.READ MORE: UPDATE: 15 Injured, 20 Rescued After Fire Erupts Inside San Francisco Tenderloin Apartment Building
The governor’s office issued a press release Monday morning stating that the proclamation temporarily allows some energy users and utilities to draw on backup energy sources to relieve pressure on the grid during peak times as demands brought by the heat wave continue to tax the California ISO. the energy emergency.
On Friday evening, the Independent System Operator (ISO) declared a statewide Stage 3 power emergency as excessive heat drove up electricity use and set temperature records across the Bay Area, forcing rolling blackouts across the state until the power grid stabilized. There were additional rolling blackouts on Saturday, though most of those outages were outside the region.
The rolling blackouts were the first in California in 20 years.
PG&E officials warned Bay Area customers on Sunday night that they might have to initiate more rolling blackouts in the Bay Area affecting over 200,000 customers, but hours later announced that California’s power grid had sufficient energy to meet demand.
According to Gov. Newsom’s office, state officials worked aggressively over the weekend to bring more energy resources online, including increased generation from sources like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the California State Water Project and investor-owned utilities.MORE NEWS: Woman Wounded As Stray Bullets Riddle Oakland Neighborhood
The state is also encouraging industrial and commercial consumers to reduce energy consumption during peak hours and to increase public awareness around energy saving measures.