Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies
Providing global warming solutions for California and the West.
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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.
As part of our advocacy to expand transmission needed to meet clean-energy and GHG-emission targets, CEERT’s Jim Caldwell and V. John White have had discussions with the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Southern California Edison (SCE), and the Transmission Agency of Northern California. A common thread in these talks has been the need for a more robust and strategic approach to transmission planning that looks beyond the narrow future generation portfolio assumptions the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has developed. A second subject has been the need to coordinate transmission planning across load-serving entities, especially between publicly owned utilities and investor owned utilities such as LADWP and SCE. One idea is to create an informal utility transmission planning group like the one that worked together during the time of the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI).
CEERT also met with Bob Mitchell of TRED, an experienced transmission developer that had a lead role on Path 15. They are seeking to build an underwater, direct-current transmission line between Diablo Canyon and Los Angeles to bring offshore wind from the Central Coast to the heart of the LA Basin. This project would be a crucial link for offshore wind, and would help reduce dependence on gas-fired generation. But under current CPUC transmission planning and Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) modeling assumptions, the project would not be eligible for CAISO to study.
James Caldwell, Jr. is CEERT’s Senior Technical Consultant. His academic and professional background includes over fifty years of experience in the energy industry. For the past thirty years, he has specialized in renewable technology and project development including photovoltaic solar, concentrating solar thermal power, wind, biomass, and geothermal. He has been employed in technical and executive positions in the oil industry (Atlantic Richfield), the California utility industry (Los Angeles Department of Water and Power), the U.S. Department of Energy, renewable trade associations, and several large and small renewable resource developers. Jim has a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from California State University at Long Beach.
Director of Grid Policy
Dr. Liz Anthony is CEERT’s Director of Grid Policy. She began at CEERT as a UC Davis ELIPPS Fellow while completing her doctoral research on a clean energy focused project at the University of California, Davis. While at UC Davis she also developed and taught renewable energy modules to local students through a National Science Foundation fellowship. She has since completed her PhD in Chemical Engineering and has joined CEERT full time.