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:

John White and Jim Caldwell have had several meetings and discussions with Dave Olsen, Chair of the CAISO Board of Governors, about the CAISO’s 2018 Transmission Planning Process. CAISO is planning to identify transmission expansions and upgrades that could reduce local capacity requirements in non-attainment areas and disadvantaged communities. At the request of California Public Utilities Commission President Picker and California Energy Commission Chairman Weisenmiller, CAISO is also conducting an analysis of the economic and environmental benefits of expanding the north/south Pacific DC Intertie transmission line from the Pacific Northwest to increase access to hydroelectric resources from the Bonneville Power Administration as a way to help California meet the evening ramp and reduce the gas burn.