CEERT Reports

California’s Progress in Advancing Transmission Planning and Permitting


December 2023



The Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT) has released two reports earlier this year on the need for expansion of the high voltage transmission system and for reform of the state’s permitting process to overcome delays in transmission project permitting and construction over the past decade. The transition to a zero-carbon grid and economy depends on expanding and modernizing California’s transmission system and building ties to the rest of the West.

The Federal Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law have stimulated a surge of investment in clean energy projects in California and elsewhere throughout the nation. This level of interest has overwhelmed the CAISO’s interconnection process and driven the need for interconnection reform. Interconnection reform are under way and are discussed further in this report.

The 2023 legislative session was notable for the advancement of bipartisan legislation to reform the CPUC transmission permitting process and reduce the amount of time it takes to obtain permits necessary to begin construction. Three bills, SB 420 (Becker), SB 619 (Padilla) and AB 1373 (Garcia) passed the Legislature and were sent to the Governor. Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed SB 420 and SB 619. This report will discuss the reforms included in each bill and examine prospects for advancing permitting in the upcoming session of the Legislature.

In May 2023, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) adopted its 2022-2023 Transmission Plan. This Transmission Plan adopts a new strategic framework to coordinate transmission planning with the interconnection of new generation and energy storage and with the procurement of clean energy by load serving entities. The CAISO’s zonal focus prioritizes transmission expansion to specific zones where new clean energy resources can be built that will accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon grid and economy.

(Read Full Report)



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