April 08, 2024 | E&E News | 1 minute read

The California Independent System Operator released a $6.1 billion draft plan last week to prep the Golden State’s power system for clean energy. The largest tranche of funding — $4.59 billion — would be devoted to wires and infrastructure that would carry offshore wind power from the state’s isolated northern coast toward hubs of demand like San Francisco.

Bracewell’s Ty Johnson told E&E News that California’s plan addresses the lack of power line capacity to connect some of the best wind resources in the world — off the Northern California coast — to the parts of the state where most people live, like the San Francisco Bay region and greater Los Angeles.

“Transmission studies have long identified this north coast issue as one of the most significant impediments to offshore wind [in California],” he said. “This plan to integrate offshore wind with a central-planning type of model is a significant milestone.”

The California draft plan calls for three major transmission lines to support the state’s northernmost offshore wind projects, as part of a broader strategy to prebuild transmission for expected clean energy in the state.