CA Gov. Newsom Addresses Power Shortage Amid Heatwave, COVID-19 Pandemic


California Gov. Gavin Newsom gave an update on the state's weekend rolling blackouts amid the triple-digit heatwave and a global pandemic.

 "We will move forward with the type of focus and diligence that is required of us," he said. "I'm not pleased with what happen..."

Newsom also signed an emergency proclamation designed to free up energy capacity and reduce the need for temporary energy service disruptions on Monday adding the state is working with the largest consumers in the state to reduce usage.

According to a press release fro Newsom on Monday, "Over the weekend, state officials worked aggressively 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. The state has also worked with industrial and commercial consumers to reduce energy consumption during peak hours and to increase public awareness around energy saving measures."

This comes after rolling blackouts over the weekend as California faced an incredible heatwave and everyone was shut indoors with air conditioning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newsom said there have been some temporary service interruptions for some customers that will continue "likely today, Tuesday and likely through Wednesday."

Newsom mentioned the recent triple-digit heat - a record - in Death Valley, Calif., as well as active burning fires across the state including the River, Lake and Ranch Fires.

"This next few days we are anticipating the challenges as it relates to all of these conditions as it precipitated at once in this historic moment," Newsom said. "We failed to predict and plan for these shortages and that is simply unacceptable." 

According to an Associated Press story "The state remained gripped by the heatwave Saturday, with several records either tied or broken, according to the National Weather Service."

The California Independent System Operator issued a flex alert beginning Sunday through Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

 The California Independent System Operator also gave three actions people can do to conserve energy:

  • Set your thermostat to 78° or higher between 3 and 10 P.M.
  • Refrain from major appliance use between 3 and 10 P.M.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances

In a press release on Monday, Newsom wrote: 

“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. 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.”

During this major #heatwave we need to conserve energy.A few simple things you can do:- Set your A/C to 78° or higher during 3-10PM.- Turn off unnecessary lights- Use major appliances during cooler times of the day.- Sign up for flex alerts:

— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) August 16, 2020