Central California Power Connect
Frequently asked questions
What is Central California Power Connect?
PG&E's Central California Power Connect proposed project will include a new approximately 70-to-100-mile-long 230 kV transmission line from the existing Midway Substation, located near Buttonwillow, CA, to a new 230/115 kV substation, to be located near Santa Maria, CA. The proposed project scope also includes a new 115 kV line to the new substation from the existing Divide Substation and a new 115 kV line to loop to the new substation from the existing Santa Maria-Sisquoc and Mesa-Sisquoc 115 kV lines, all located in Santa Maria, CA. At this time, the California Independent System Operator, which is responsible for operating and managing California's energy grid, has informed Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) that it is reassessing projects throughout California, including Central California Power Connect.
Why are new transmission lines and a new substation needed in this area?
Central California Power Connect is a key component of PG&E's efforts to improve electric infrastructure throughout its service area to meet the evolving requirements of the 21st century grid and the needs of the region's economy. The proposed project was approved by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the entity responsible for operating and managing California's electric transmission grid, as a long term solution to prevent existing 115 kV lines from being overloaded when outages occur on 230 kV lines in southern San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties. It will allow PG&E to continue to reliably meet the energy demands of our customers, and provide greater flexibility and independence to the electric grid to adapt to energy demand in real time.
Where will the project be located?
A proposed location for the proposed project has not yet been determined. At this time, the California Independent System Operator, which is responsible for operating and managing California's energy grid, has informed Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) that it is reassessing projects throughout California, including Central California Power Connect. The reassessment will focus on the project options PG&E has identified thus far and may consider other energy infrastructure improvements as potential solutions.
When will the project be in service?
The anticipated timeline for the project, including when we will submit the project application to the CPUC, has been delayed and will be reassessed after the CAISO has finished its evaluation. We are unsure how long the reassessment process will take.
What will you do to ensure the safety and security of these facilities?
The security of our facilities is a top priority. We are committed to implementing appropriate security measures at the proposed new substation which include, but are not limited to, perimeter fencing/gates, lighting and intrusion detection systems.
How will you minimize environmental impacts as a result of this project?
We are dedicated to minimizing impacts to the environment and local communities. Our planning and regulatory review process includes a thorough assessment of environmental issues, including a public environmental review process and numerous opportunities for public input. The proposed project will be reviewed in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Ultimately, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Federal Agencies will decide the project route.
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