Pacific Gas and Electric Co., MidAmerican Transmission, LLC and Citizens Energy Corp. have been chosen by the California Independent System Operator Corporation to develop, own and operate a new transmission line in the Central Valley region of California.
The 230-kV line will span about 70 miles across Fresno, Madera and Kings counties, running from the Gates to Gregg substations, which are owned and operated by PG&E. Approved by the ISO to address the growing power demand in the greater Fresno area, the new line will help reduce the number and duration of power outages, create jobs and support economic development, and bolster efforts to integrate clean, renewable energy onto the grid. The transmission line would be operational no later than 2022, and could come on line earlier.
"This new transmission line not only will enable PG&E to safely, reliably and affordably serve our customers in the Central Valley, it will create new much needed jobs in the region," said Geisha Williams, executive vice president of electric operations at PG&E. "The greater Fresno area is recognized nationally as a leader in agricultural business, and PG&E is pleased to partner with MidAmerican Transmission and Citizens Energy to modernize the region's electric system in order to enhance California's long-term economic vitality."
"Today's energy infrastructure is adapting to meet the demands for greater renewable sources, while continuing the reliable service to customers," said John Cupparo, president, MidAmerican Transmission. "This collaboration with PG&E and Citizens Energy is evidence of MidAmerican Transmission's continued investment to ensure that California's energy infrastructure keeps pace with these evolving demands."
The ISO approved the project during its annual Transmission Planning Process in March. The ISO chose the consortium of PG&E, MidAmerican Transmission and Citizens Energy over four other qualified bidders in a competitive process. The project is the second to be approved under new ISO rules that require certain new transmission projects be subject to competition.
The project will need to undergo an approval process through the California Public Utilities Commission. PG&E, MidAmerican Transmission and Citizens Energy will work collaboratively with local stakeholders to determine the optimal routing of the line as part of the approval process.