On Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order allowing the state to boost electricity supplies as the power grid prepares for stress during a weeklong heatwave.
Newsom said at a press conference on Wednesday that the executive order will give California additional options “across the spectrum” for acquiring supplies in advance of the heatwave.
The Independent System Operator for the state of California has issued a conservation plea between the hours of 4 and 9 p.m., when strain on the electrical grid might cause blackouts.
Increasing temperatures over the weekend and into early next week are expected to put a strain on the system due to higher energy demand, according to an advisory sent by California ISO on Tuesday.
Extreme heat advisories were issued for all of Southern California and the Central Valley, and they were expected to be issued for all of Northern California later in the week as well.
According to the “Flex Alert” issued by California ISO, increased energy demand, driven largely by air conditioning use, has been constraining available power supplies due to the scorching weather.
The grid operator forecasts that the peak load for electricity demand in California would reach 48,000 megawatts on Monday, the most of the year.
The California ISO issued a Flex Alert advising residents to pre-cool their homes, run large appliances, and charge electric vehicles and electronics before 4 p.m. Customers were urged to limit their use of high-draw devices, such as refrigerators and electric vehicle chargers, between the hours of 4 and 9 p.m.
Meanwhile, meteorologists have been warning of triple-digit heat with little reprieve overnight and an increased risk of wildfires across most of the Western United States.
To ensure steady electricity production, Newsom has proposed giving the state’s final nuclear power plant an additional five years of operation. To put it another way, the plan would keep Pacific Gas & Electric’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant operating through its 2025 shutdown date.
After California lawmakers last week agreed to compel all new automobiles in the state to operate on electricity by 2035, California ISO sent out its message and Newsom issued his executive order.
The governor has asked regulators to start thinking about this in 2020. If successful, California will have reduced vehicle emissions by 50 percent by the year 2040.