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PG&E planning new 230kv line to Midway Substation

PG&E Corporate Relations (408) 282-7140

Central California Power Connect Project will bring line across from Santa Maria area to Buttonwillow.

PG&E is in the early stages of routing a major power line from the Santa Maria area to the Midway substation in Buttonwillow on a project that could result in new high-voltage power lines in the Taft area.

The proposed Central California Power Connect Project is a decade away from completion.

It would add a 230 kilovolt line to connect a new substation in the Santa Maria-Sisquoc area with the existing Midway substation.

PG&E says it needs the additional infrastructure to provide a reliable power source for the region and provide electricity to new customers.

It would benefit 73,000 customers in the Central Valley and Central Coast regions, the utility says,

Several PG&E staffers spoke about the project at the Taft Chamber of Commerce this week.

Another meeting followed Thursday in Buttonwillow.

It's only the first step in a project that is scheduled to start construction in five years and take another five years to complete.

PG&E is still in the preliminary stages of choosing a site for the new substation in an area of northern Santa Barbara County and portion of San Luis Obispo County east of Santa Maria to build the new substation to connect to Midway.

From there, several existing transmission lines and corridors are the most likely routes for the new high-voltage line.

Corridors ranging in size from 2,000 feet wide near existing transmission lines and two miles wide along highways are located both to the north and south of the study area.

One corridor runs along Highway 166 east from Santa Maria through Cuyama Valley and up to Maricopa, then north both to the east and west of Taft to Buttonwillow.

Several others are located north through the Los Padres National Forest in San Luis Obispo County and north of the Carrizo Plain National Monument where they traverse the Temblor Range and connect to the Midway Station.

The project would include the 70 to 100-mile 230kV transmission line plus a new 115 kV line to the new substation from the existing Divide Substation and a new 115kV line to loop to the new substation from the existing Santa Maria-Sisquoc and Mesa-Sisquoc 115kV lines in the Santa Maria area.

Preliminary work getting public input, selecting potential routes and evaluating their potential is going to continue through most of this year, with the Environmental studies to start soon after, navigating the environmental process and getting the necessary permits, including approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, will take several years and construction isn't scheduled to start until 2021 and completion is currently targeted for December 2025.

PG&E has posted more information on its website page about Central California Power Connect.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to nearly 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit the PG&E website and the PG&E Media Newsroom.

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