CSAC Bulletin Article

Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order and Community Engagement Tools to Help Address Emerging Energy Crisis

August 20, 2020

This week, Governor Newsom indicated that the state was facing a historic heatwave and had experienced a significant shortfall in electricity supply over the course of 72 hours. This shortfall included a predicted deficit of 4,400 megawatts of expected daily need. These shortfalls prompted the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to issue a Stage 3 Electrical Emergency notification which requires utility provides to enact “Load Shedding” through rolling blackouts in order to reduce demand for electricity and prevent system overload.

In response to this sudden and evolving energy crisis, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an emergency proclamation to free up energy capacity and reduce the need for rolling black outs. The proclamation allows for stationary and portable generators to operate under emergency operations rules. In addition to other provisions, the proclamation exempts stationary generators from regulation under California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measures rules and declares an emergency that allows for the operation of portable generators to meet demand. The text of the proclamation can be found here and a copy can be found here.

Finally, as part of this ongoing crisis, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has created messaging materials, including social media and planning documents, to help counties message what local residents can do to help California reduce demand. You can find those links on in the AENR area of the CSAC website at the links below.

OES Heatwave Social Media Toolkit
OES Power Saving Background Fact Sheet
OES Electric Disruption Toolkit January 2020

If you have any questions please feel free to email the CSAC AENR team at cfreeman@counties.org and ncronenwett@counties.org.

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