Renewables Transmission Planning and Development

Transmission is to renewable energy resources what the transcontinental railroad was to opening up the West. We need to connect California’s renewable resource-rich regions—wind from Tehachapi, geothermal and wind from the Imperial Valley, concentrated solar power from the Mojave Desert, and to a lesser extent, bio-energy from the Central Valley—to the large coastal urban load centers of the state where it is needed. Making this vital connection will require a series of massive, multi-billion dollar investments in new transmission infrastructure. In conjunction with the California Energy Commission, we have been promoting a unique stakeholder collaboration project to expedite planning and development of vital transmission projects.

Recent Developments:

CEERT worked with CAISO on the 2018 Transmission Planning Process, which included a focus on studying how transmission expansions and upgrades could reduce local capacity requirements and the need to operate gas-fired power plants in disadvantaged communities. CEERT has had preliminary discussions with CAISO, Southern California Edison (SCE), and LADWP about the possibility of shared ownership and operation of expanded transmission into the LA Basin from the east, to enable an increase in renewable imports and to strengthen both the CAISO and LADWP systems’ reliability.

In addition, we urged CPUC staff to include more robust, realistic assumptions about the need for expanded transmission to meet both RPS and GHG reduction goals in the Integrated Re¬source Plan and in the generation portfolio assumptions the CPUC requires CAISO to use in its transmission planning.