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Extreme California Heat to Shutter Manufacturers Next Week

Sept. 2, 2022
Triple-digit forecasts in Sacramento and Fresno will likely strain the electric grid past its capacity.

California Governor Gavin Newsom this week issued a state of emergency as triple-digit temperatures bear down on the state, ordering some manufacturers to cease operations, encouraging electric vehicle drivers to charge at night and allowing ships in harbor to keep their engines on instead of using shore power from the grid.

California Independent System Operator is the agency that forecasts much of the state’s power usage, and it predicts that electricity demand will exceed supply starting Monday and only get worse throughout the week. predicts a high of 112 on Tuesday in Sacramento and 113 in Fresno. Predictions call for triple-digit highs in Fresno until next Saturday.

The California Manufacturers & Technology Association advocacy group is encouraging its members to save power, but it’s also urging the state to solve its energy scarcity issues. Utilities in the Golden State predict electricity shortages through 2025 at least as generation plants shut down and more of the state’s transportation sector shifts from internal combustion engine (ICE) cars to electric vehicles (EVs).

Regulators predict that energy efficiency programs will eventually lower power demand, but those will take years to compensate for short-term growing demand and reduced generation.

CMTA President and CEO Lance Hastings said, “We’ve been here before, and it’s another year where we ask our manufacturers to save energy to reduce the risk of outages. Our manufacturers face ongoing energy and reliability challenges in California, yet our economy relies on our companies to thrive. It’s all interconnected.”

The extreme heat in California is dramatically increasing energy demand as people use more air conditioning. In addition, the heat worsens drought conditions, reducing the availability of hydroelectric power. And, hot, dry air generates less power in wind turbines than humid air.

Newsom and other California officials say they’re stuck in a bind—blaming climate change for hotter conditions that are driving up demand and making climate-friendly renewable energy resources less effective. CMTA’s Hastings says the state needs a plan that addresses climate change and shorter-term concerns such as the viability of manufacturing products in the Golden State.

“While we understand our role in conserving energy, it impacts our companies, which are our communities’ financial backbones. These actions affect our economy, and we risk losing thousands of jobs supporting our middle class. These realities and our state’s policies are forcing our manufacturers to rethink doing business in California,” Hastings said.

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