New Report on September Heat Wave Details California’s Action to Meet Historic Challenges to Power Grid


SACRAMENTO – In September, California and the Western U.S. saw record temperatures that put unprecedented strain on the state’s electrical grid. But California was able to keep the lights on, thanks to years of smart investments and preparation – including  thousands of megawatts of new clean energy battery storage – and extraordinary action by Californians to conserve energy.The steps California took years in advance to prepare for this summer’s record-setting heat emergency – and how California residents, business and governments stepped up to help keep the lights on – are described in a new report issued by the California Independent System Operator (ISO) today.

“This is a success story in how we are facing the challenges created by more extreme weather,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “We know there will be more challenges like this in the years ahead, and we must continue to prepare ourselves amid intensifying climate impacts. That means continuing to build on what we know works as we move to end our dependence on fossil fuels and accelerate our transition to an affordable, clean and reliable energy future that protects Californians and safeguards our state’s future.”After outages in 2020, Governor Newsom called on energy agencies to conduct a root cause analysis. Key findings of that analysis led to actions taken by the state to improve grid reliability, and helped keep the lights on in 2022. California has made tremendous strides in recent years toward realizing the electricity system of the future. The state met its interim target of 33 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020, two years ahead of schedule. California this year enacted a world-leading plan to achieve 100% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035; set a 2045 deadline to achieve statewide carbon neutrality; and ramped up the state’s clean electricity goals with new targets of 90% clean electricity by 2035 and 95% by 2040, advancing our trajectory in the existing 100% clean electricity retail sales by 2045 goal. In addition, California announced a historic agreement with the federal government last year to advance offshore wind along the California coast.