Project details

In late January, NextEra Energy Transmission West (NEET West) and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) submitted an application to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for permits to construct for the Estrella Substation and Paso Robles Area Reinforcement Project, which PG&E is supporting through Paso Robles Area Power Connect, the proposed 70 kV transmission line component of the project. The application includes NEET West’s proposed substation site as well as PG&E's proposed “Union” transmission line route, which can be viewed on our overview map. The CPUC has jurisdiction over the siting of this type of project, and it may or may not select the proposed substation site identified by NEET West or the proposed transmission line route identified by PG&E.


The filing of the project application to the CPUC kicks off a formal environmental assessment under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) with the CPUC as the CEQA “lead agency.” The CPUC process includes opportunities for public review and comment on the CPUC’s draft CEQA document and, later, its proposed decision. For more information about the CPUC’s regulatory and environmental review process, including the CPUC-led public participation program, visit the CPUC website. The CPUC will now serve as the primary point of contact for comments on the project, and you can contact the CPUC Public Advisor in San Francisco at (415) 703-2074 or 1-866-849-8390 (toll-free) or TTY (415) 703-5258 or public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov. To obtain additional information on the proposed project, including information on how and where you can review the project application, please call PG&E’s Project Information Line at 1-888-743-8570 (toll-free). The CPUC’s project application number for this project is A.17-010-23, and additional information on the project application can be found here. We will post a link to the CPUC’s web page for this project on this website when it is available.


If approved by the CPUC, the Estrella Substation and Paso Robles Area Reinforcement Project will help enhance electric service reliability for nearly 47,000 electric customers in Paso Robles, San Miguel, Templeton, Creston, Atascadero and Santa Margarita. In addition, these upgrades will help reduce the risk of power outages that could affect the Paso Robles area, particularly during critical maintenance work or when demand for electricity is high.


Background

In 2013, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which is responsible for operating and managing California's power grid, determined that new electric infrastructure would be needed to ensure long-term electric reliability in the Paso Robles community and surrounding areas. The CAISO selected NEET West to build a new substation called Estrella and PG&E to complete a set of electric grid upgrades, which will include building a new 70 kV transmission line and upgrading existing transmission lines. These upgrades will connect NEET West's proposed electric substation to the local electric grid.


PG&E and NEET West are each responsible for planning their respective upgrades, but are working collaboratively to engage stakeholders and the community throughout the planning and permitting process.


PG&E's upgrades consist of:

  • Building additional components at the Estrella Substation site to connect the new substation to the new transmission line and local power grid
  • Connecting the existing Morro Bay-Gates 230 kV transmission line to the Estrella Substation
  • Connecting the existing San Miguel-Paso Robles 70 kV transmission line to the Estrella Substation
  • Upgrading a portion of the San Miguel-Paso Robles 70 kV transmission line
  • Making reliability upgrades to our existing Templeton, San Miguel and Paso Robles substations