Newsom signs emergency proclamation to free more energy amid heat wave

Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday signed an emergency proclamation to free up additional energy capacity amid California's scorching heat wave

With another Flex Alert called by the state grid operator for Friday evening, Newsom's proclamation suspends certain permitting requirements. The order allows the use of back-up power generation and frees up additional energy capacity to help alleviate the heat-induced demands on the state’s energy grid. 

Much of the Western United States is seeing triple digit heat. In the Bay Area, cooling centers have opened to alleviate those who may be without air conditioning or who need shelter from the soaring temperatures. 

Despite improvements to the California electrical grid, the state still imports a lot of power from other Western States during peak demands. 

Right now, the biggest threat to the grid is cranking up the air-conditioning. A/C can quickly put excessive demand on the system, leading to stress on local electricity distribution equipment. 

In prolonged heat waves, some older power equipment simply cannot cool down and fails from a technical kind of heat stroke. 

You can read the governor's full extreme heat proclamation here.

KTVU's Tom Vacar contributed to this report.