Project details

In late January 2017, 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 and routing 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 and Proponents’ Environmental Assessment (PEA) places the project in the hands of the CPUC. The CPUC will base its decision on the project on evidence it gathers through its regulatory and environmental review process, including comments and other evidence submitted to the CPUC by parties to this proceeding and members of the general public. Note that comments and information submitted to PG&E are not part of the formal administrative record the CPUC will use to make its decision on the project. To be sure your voice is heard, we urge you to learn about the CPUC’s process and find out when there are opportunities for public input.


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 by email at public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov.To obtain additional information on the proposed project, please visit the CPUC Energy Division CEQA project website.


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