Paso Robles Area Power Connect
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NextEra Energy Transmission West and PG&E File Application for Paso Robles Area Reliability Project
PASO ROBLES, Calif. – After more than a year of extensive public outreach and environmental analysis, NextEra Energy Transmission West (NEET West) and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) jointly filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for permits to construct the Estrella Substation and Paso Robles Area Reinforcement Project. PG&E is supporting the project through its Paso Robles Area Power Connect, a proposed new 70 kV transmission line. The project application identified NEET West’s “Union Road Site” as the proposed location for the Estrella Substation, and the Paso Robles Area Power Connect “Union Route” as the proposed route for a new 70 kV transmission line.
Once the CPUC formally accepts the project application, it will kick off an environmental assessment under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The CPUC will lead this process, which will include opportunities for public review and comment on the proposed project. The CPUC has jurisdiction over the siting of this type of project, and it may or may not select the proposed or alternative sites and routes that NEET West and PG&E identified.
“We gained valuable insight from the community during our multi-phased outreach efforts, and we look forward to hearing their thoughts during the formal CPUC review process. We believe the proposed route best meets the goal of bolstering the transmission system that serves the area while minimizing impacts to the local community and the environment,” said Pat Mullen, PG&E’s Los Padres Division Director.
NEET West and PG&E were each responsible for the planning and proposed routing and siting of their respective components for the proposed project, but they have been working collaboratively to engage stakeholders and the community throughout the planning process.
If approved, the Estrella Substation and Paso Robles Area Reinforcement Project will help ensure future electric reliability for thousands of residential and business customers in San Miguel, Templeton, Paso Robles, Creston, Atascadero and Santa Margarita. This project includes the construction of a new substation, enhancements to existing substations and upgrades to existing transmission lines that serve about 47,000 customers in the area.
The California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which manages the state’s electric grid, first identified the need for the Estrella Substation and Paso Robles Area Reinforcement Project in its 2013-2014 Transmission Plan. The CAISO has identified an in-service date of 2019 for the project.
The development of the proposed and alternative sites and routes for the transmission line began in 2015, with the identification of a large geographic area where a new substation and transmission line could reasonably be located. The project team then engaged in a comprehensive community outreach effort, gathering public input during seven open houses, community events and briefings. Using this feedback and further environmental analysis, the project team identified proposed and alternative sites and three potential route options that were presented to the community in June 2016. Since then, the project team has been conducting further environmental and engineering studies, along with additional outreach, to refine the proposed routes, as well as the proposed upgrades to the existing transmission system.
More information on the project, and the proposed and alternative sites and routes, can be found by visiting the project website at www.pge.com/pasoroblesareapc or NEET West’s website at www.nexteraenergy.com.
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.
About NextEra Energy Transmission West
NextEra Energy Transmission West, LLC is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Transmission, LLC. NextEra Energy Transmission owns and operates transmission facilities in North America and is pursuing opportunities to develop, build and operate new transmission facilities. NextEra Energy Transmission is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc., which is a leading clean energy company with approximately 45,000 megawatts of generating capacity, which includes megawatts associated with noncontrolling interests related to NextEra Energy Partners, LP and approximately 14,300 employees in 27 states and Canada as of year-end 2015. The company has earned a reputation for excellence in operations; one of the strongest safety records in the industry; and environmental stewardship of the natural resources where our projects are located. Building community relationships and having an on-going dialogue with individuals and organizations are other important characteristics of our company.
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