News and updates

PG&E seeks community feedback for proposed Central California Power Connect Infrastructure Project

PG&E Corporate Relations (408) 282-7140

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Delivering safe and reliable electric service is a top priority for Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). Central California Power Connect, a proposed new electric infrastructure project, will do just that. PG&E is engaging local Central Coast and Central Valley communities for a second round of open houses to seek input on potential substation site locations, transmission line route alternatives and design options.


Central California Power Connect includes building a new substation near Santa Maria and two new transmission lines. The proposed new substation will connect with a new 230kV transmission line to the existing PG&E Midway Substation in Kern County.


The proposed project will benefit 73,000 customers on California's Central Coast and in Central Valley communities. The input PG&E receives during this phase of outreach will contribute to the selection of potential substation site locations, potential routes and design options to be studied further. PG&E will share these results with the communities and gather feedback to further refine the project and select a preferred substation site, routes and alternatives.


"The proposed Central California Power Connect project is a key component of our efforts to meet the electric reliability needs of the region and to ensure its economic vitality. We look forward to gaining additional insight from customers during this round of outreach.  We also hope to hear customers' feedback on the preliminary route alternatives and siting areas in order to develop the best project possible for the area." said Denise Newton, senior manage of Kern Division for PG&E."


PG&E invites the community to attend open house meetings to discuss the project and provide feedback on potential transmission line route alternatives: 


Wednesday, May 25; 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
California Valley Community Services District
13080 Soda Lake Road, California Vallay, CA 93453


Wednesday, May 25; 4 –7 p.m.
Ludwick Community Center
846 Santa Rosa Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401


Thursday, May 26; 4 – 7 p.m.
Santa Maria Public Library
421 S. McLelland Street, Santa Maria, CA 93454


PG&E will continue to engage with communities in the project area throughout the development of the proposed project.


PG&E is committed to siting and designing the proposed project in a manner that is most compatible with the surrounding communities and environment. The proposed new approximately 70-to-100-mile-long 230 kV transmission line from the existing Midway Substation located near Buttonwillow would connect to a new 230/115 kV substation, to be located near Santa Maria, CA. The proposed project 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 or near Santa Maria, CA.


The substation study area and transmission line route alternatives were selected based on the proximity to existing transmission lines and prioritized based on a set of criteria, including compatibilities with established land uses and infrastructure, effects on agricultural operations and impacts on nearby communities, among other considerations. 


The proposed project will provide the system with redundancy, operational flexibility and greater independence to adapt to energy demand, which will help prevent any part of the system from becoming overloaded, especially during the summer when demand for electricity is highest.


PG&E will use the feedback gathered during this process to design a project with the least overall impact. Based on the current timeline, the project will be submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Federal government in Sept. 2017. The CPUC, the state agency with jurisdiction over transmission projects of this type, and the Federal government will conduct additional environmental review and provide opportunities for continued public comment. Ultimately, the CPUC and the Federal Agencies involved will decide project locations, which is anticipated in 2021. 


In addition to the open house, the project team continues to hold stakeholder meetings and engage with the local communities. Kern County residents who are unable to attend the open house can obtain more information on the project website at http://www.pge.com/centralcaliforniapc.


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 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.