The California Independent System Operator (CaISO), which manages the majority of the state's power grid, has approved five new transmission projects that the agency says are crucial to the state's renewable energy future. The five projects, part of a transmission plan that could cost around $1.7 billion, were green-lighted by the CaISO's Board of Supervisors on Wednesday.
The five projects:
- The Sycamore-Peñasquitos 230-kilovolt line near Poway in San Diego County, scheduled for completion in 2017 at a cost of up to $221 million;
- A rerouting of Southern California Edison's 500 kilovolt Eldorado-Lugo line, which now enters California from Nevada near the hamlet of Nipton in San Bernardino County -- slated for completion in 2020 at a cost of $36 million;
- Equipment upgrades on the Eldorado-Lugo line, scheduled for 2016 at a cost of $121 million;
- Upgrading the 230 kilovolt line between Pacific Gas & Electric's (PG&E's) substations at Warnerville (near Hetch Hetchy) and Bellota (near Escalon), scheduled for completion in 2017 at a cost of $28million, and;
- A similar upgrade to the 115 kilovolt line between PG&E's Wilson and Le Grand substations in Merced County. This would be completed in 2020 and cost $15 million.
The CaISO Board also approved 36 additional transmission projects that it deemed necessary to making the state's grid more reliable. All told, the 41 transmission projects would cost around $1.7 billion dollars. Those costs could be covered by utility ratepayers.
"The CaISO is demonstrating California's global energy leadership by showing how a greener grid is as resilient and reliable as the grids of yesterday while paving the way for tomorrow's sustainable future and helping in the fight against climate change," said CaISO Board Chair Bob Foster in a press release. "A more diverse grid is a more energy secure grid."
[Note: A previous version of this story wrongly reprted that the 36 additional transmission projects were not yet approved. We regret the error.]