SACRAMENTO — On Thursday, September 7, a bill by Senator Steve Padilla (D-San Diego) to accelerate California’s efforts to approve energy transmission projects, Senate Bill 619, passed the Assembly with the support of bipartisan.
According to a press release from the office of Senator Steve Padilla, “California’s climate goals are some of the most ambitious in the world, but our ability to move clean electrons has not changed in decades,” Senator Padilla said.
“We cannot rely on the network of our grandparents to drive the future of our grandchildren. “We can produce all the clean energy we want, but we need a grid that can bring clean energy to consumers,” he added.
“California’s energy demand is growing dramatically as the state transitions from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric cars, adding pressure to a grid that was developed for the needs of the last century,” the statement.
“As the state’s energy supply expands to include new clean sources, it is important that the energy generated does not stop behind a bottleneck of inadequate infrastructure,” the text says.
According to the release, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the US energy system a “C” grade in its 2021 infrastructure report card.
The report presents a series of policy recommendations to raise the grade, including consolidating national and state permitting processes so that new transmission and transmission lines can be financed and built more quickly, creating jobs. as soon as possible, and strengthen the grid against the increasing effects of climate change.
California must spend billions in new transmission infrastructure investments in the coming years to meet our current goals.
The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) estimates that California will need thousands of megawatts of new transmission capacity each year during that time. Meeting this unprecedented demand will require California to simultaneously accelerate the planning, siting, permitting and construction of a modern electric grid, while carefully managing its costs.
“Despite the overwhelming need to expand our electric grid, it takes the California Public Utilities Commission about 7 years, on average, to approve new projects,” Padilla’s press release read.
“The current process requires multiple agencies, duplicates analysis and allows processes to take years to complete and creates unnecessary cost overruns and significant delays,” he said.
According to the statement, current transmission projects are nearly five years behind schedule and have generated tens of millions of dollars in additional costs.
Without major changes to the state’s current planning and permitting processes, California will lose vision on its climate goals and the state’s fragile energy grid will experience unprecedented lame.
SB 619 expands on last year’s AB 205, which allows the California Energy Commission (CEC) to certify transmission projects in California.
“The move is part of a broader and longer-term conversation taking place across the state about how California can meet its climate goals, provide reliable power to homes and businesses, manage the cost, and increase transparency in the modernization of California’s power grid,” said the Senator. Padilla’s Office.
“The coalition supporting SB 619 spans many sectors of the California economy with labor organizations and business leaders, environmental organizations and energy producers alike, all eager to see California’s -modernize its grid,” the statement read.
Supporters of the move include the Natural Resources Defense Council, Clean Energy Campaign, Southern California Edison, California State Electrical Workers Association, California Chamber of Commerce, Clean Air Task Force, Association of Independent Power Producers and Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
“SB 619 is the most important legislative reform proposal of the session to expedite and simplify regulatory approvals and permits for urgently needed new and expanded electric transmission lines to provide clean , renewable energy to power the electric grid.” in California,” said John White, Legislative Director for the Clean Energy Campaign.
According to the release, SB 619 advanced from the Assembly by a vote of 57 to 0. The bill heads to the Senate for a final unanimous vote.