Westside Power Connect
Frequently asked questions
What is Westside Power Connect?
The proposed Westside Power Connect project will reinforce the local 70 kV system and is needed to relieve potential line overloads and potential service outages on Merced County's westside.
The proposed project scope includes:
- Constructing a proposed new substation
- Constructing new transmission lines to connect the new substation to the existing system
- Enhancing an existing substation
- Rebuilding existing transmission lines
Why are a new substation and transmission lines needed in this area?
The proposed Westside Power Connect project is a key component of PG&E's efforts to meet the electric needs of the region's residents and growing economy. These improvements will help reinforce the local electric grid by improving electric reliability and reducing outages for customers and businesses. The Westside Power Connect project will help increase flexibility for system operators during maintenance activities and help increase transmission capacity and reliability for PG&E's electric customers on the westside of Merced County.
Where will the project be located?
A final location for the proposed project, which will service approximately 36,000 customers in Los Banos, Dos Palos, Oro Loma, Santa Nella and the surrounding communities, has not yet been determined. PG&E is engaging community stakeholders early in the planning process, helping to guarantee their input shapes the decision-making process until the proposed project is completed. Ultimately, the final project components and location will be determined by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
When will the project be completed?
PG&E will submit a formal project application to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in Q3 2017 for its review and approval. At this time, the project is expected to be operational in late 2020.
What is the cost?
Construction for this project is expected to cost approximately $37 million. This investment promotes a strong commercial environment that attracts and retains a diverse group of employers and industries in the region, helping support the continued economic recovery of the region's industrial and agricultural sectors.
Who will pay?
As with all regional, high-voltage transmission improvements, the cost will be allocated to most utility customers statewide. Once the project is operational, the impact on overall rates to utility customers would be minimal. The average bill impact for electric customers would be less than $.01 per month.
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