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 has continued to push for better alignment between California’s climate and clean-energy goals and its transmission planning process, in particular the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC’s) implicit policy of limiting renewable im­ports from out of state and its insistence on restricting the scope of the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO’s) planning, thereby delay­ing trans­mission expansions in the mistaken belief that new transmission isn’t needed because of the growth of distributed energy resources.  We have been making these points in a variety of regulatory venues, includ­ing the California Energy Commission’s (CEC’s) SB 100 report and the CPUC’s new Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) proceeding.

CEERT has also continued informal conversations with the CAISO, Southern California Edison, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Sacramento Municipal Utilities District about opportunities and issues of shared concern, including new transmission for offshore wind.