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California grid operator approves $7.3 billion of new transmission lines

  • 6 months ago (2023-05-22)
  • David Flin
North America 975 Transmission 167

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has approved a $7.3 billion plan for 45 new power transmission projects over the next decade to make it easier for power plants in high priority areas to connect to the grid.

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CAISO said that the projects will support the development of over 40 GW of new generation resources. CAISO said: “With electrification increasing in other sectors of the economy, most notably transportation and the building industry, even more new power will be required in the years ahead.” It added that the vast majority of the transmission projects will be built in California, with some in the neighbouring state of Arizona.

The recommended power lines will allow the state’s grid to add more than 17 GW of solar resources, 8 GW of wind generation, 1 GW of geothermal, and battery storage projects to the grid. CAISO will prioritise connecting power plants to the grid in specific geographical zones.

CAISO projected that its transmission plan next year could include the need to add 70 GW of new power to the grid by 2033, rising to 120 GW as the state seeks to meet its goal of a carbon-free power system by 2045.