SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – As a massive heat wave hits California this week, Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency to help try to keep the power on throughout the state.

On Wednesday, Governor Newsom held a press conference to announce new efforts to reduce the strain on the power grid during this heat wave, including a plan to allow ships in the state’s ports to keep their engines running so they won’t need to use shore-side power.

Over the past 10 years, the ongoing drought has caused a massive strain on the power supply in California, with hydroelectricity, which is energy generated from water, becoming less reliable each year.

“Megadrought means less megawatts,” explained Newsom.

In August of last year, Newsom said a massive amount of energy in California was lost after the Hyatt Powerplant at the Orville Dam was forced to shut down due to low water levels in the lake.

The powerplant wasn’t able to reopen until January of the following year when water levels were high enough.

Overall in 2021, in-state hydroelectric generation fell by 32% from 2020 levels as California experienced the fourth hottest year on record since 1895, worsening drought conditions.

The total amount of hydroelectric generation, including imports of power from out of state, fell by 23%.

As temperatures hit triple-digits, more power customers are cranking up their air conditioners to try to escape the heat, causing even more of a strain on the state’s grid.

“All of us have been trying to outrun mother nature, but it’s pretty clear that mother nature has outrun us,” said Newsom.

The demand for electricity is expected to hit over 48,000 megawatts on Monday, which would mark the highest daily demand for energy so far this year.

As the power grid struggles to keep up with demand, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) has extended a statewide Flex Alert for voluntary electricity conservation until Thursday.

More Flex Alerts could be announced through the Labor Day weekend, as temperatures are expected to hit triple-digits throughout the state.

To help secure energy going forward, Newsom has proposed several plans, including keeping the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, the last operating nuclear power plant in the state, up and running past its scheduled closure date in 2025.