Wheeler Ridge Junction Project
In early 2017, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which is responsible for managing California’s energy grid, informed PG&E that it was reassessing dozens of previously approved projects throughout California, including the Wheeler Ridge Junction Project, formerly known as Bakersfield Power Connect.
In March 2018, the CAISO Board decided that there would be no changes to the Wheeler Ridge Junction Project scope. The project will now progress as planned to help ensure continued electric reliability and efficiency across the region, and a permit application will be submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) this spring. If approved by the CPUC, this project will include the construction of a new substation, enhancements to existing substations and upgrades to about 30 miles of existing transmission lines that serve about 100,000 customers in and around Bakersfield.
The Wheeler Ridge Junction Project, formerly known as Bakersfield Power Connect, will provide the following benefits to the community:
Upgrades to the grid will help the region stay in front of growing energy demand and provide greater flexibility to adapt to changes in energy demand, limiting the chances of the system becoming overloaded, especially during the summer when demand for electricity is highest. About 100,000 residents and businesses will benefit from the increased reliability delivered by the Wheeler Ridge Junction Project, formerly known as Bakersfield Power Connect.
Strengthening the grid will provide a highly reliable and stable electricity source for the area's leading businesses and industries. New investments in critical infrastructure promote a strong commercial environment that will support the continued economic recovery and growth of the region's agricultural sector.
Replacing older power lines and components with new technology maximizes our ability to move electricity safely and dependably to homes and businesses. For example, technology upgrades will give us greater ability to limit impacts from future outages to a confined area, while increasing the capacity of key transmission lines will allow us to move electricity more efficiently throughout the local electric system.
The security of our substations is a top priority. We will coordinate closely with local law enforcement and use advanced technology to implement safety and security measures that meet the highest established standards for critical infrastructure protection.