The Sunrise Powerlink brings power through the desert to San Diego. Photo courtesy SDG&E

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an emergency order Friday to free up electricity supplies for California during “critical times” when extreme heat and wildfires strain the electrical gird.

The proclamation suspends permitting requirements to allow greater energy production and creates incentives so that large energy users can move to back-up power generation, freeing up energy capacity on the grid.

At the same time, Newsom reiterated his commitment to long-term development of clean energy.

“While we build toward a safe, affordable and reliable energy future that benefits all our communities, we’re also taking action to meet the challenges caused by climate change that are already at our doorstep,” Newsom said.

The Governor’s office said contingency plans are in place to “safeguard the state’s energy system this summer” while accelerating the transition to clean electricity by bringing new resources on-line as fast as possible.

Battery storage projects were cited as particularly importance since they capture abundant renewable generation available during the day.

Newsom noted that on April 24, the state set a record with 94% of electricity coming from solar, wind and other clean sources.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.