Executive Insight, T&D, Transmission

California ISO board OKs 2016-2017 transmission plan

The California ISO on March 15 said that its board of governors has approved the California ISO’s 2016-2017 Transmission Plan, which included a recommendation that the board approve two reliability driven transmission projects that were identified as needed to ensure compliance with NERC and California ISO planning standards.

As TransmissionHub reported, those two projects are:

·      The $6 million Big Creek Rating Increase Project in the Southern California Edison (SCE) service area that has an expected in-service date of Dec. 31, 2018

·      The $18 million Lugo-Victorville 500-kV Upgrade (SCE portion) in the SCE service area that has an expected in-service date of December 2018

The California ISO said in its March 15 statement that the plan’s key findings also included that:

·      No new transmission projects are needed to meet California’s 33 percent-by-2020 renewables portfolio standard (RPS)

·      No new economic transmission projects were identified as needed

As noted in a presentation by Neil Millar, executive director, Infrastructure Development, for the board’s March 15-16 general session meeting regarding the decision on the plan, the California ISO’s reliability analysis showed that 13 projects in PG&E’s service area are no longer required based on reliability and local capacity requirements and deliverability assessments:

·      Pease-Marysville #2 60-kV Line

·      Almaden 60-kV Shunt Capacitor

·      Monta Vista-Los Gatos-Evergreen 60-kV Project

·      Lockheed No. 1 115-kV Tap Reconductor

·      Mountain View/Whisman-Monta Vista 115-kV Reconductoring

·      Stone 115-kV Back-tie Reconductor

·      Kearney-Kerman 70-kV Line Reconductor

·      Cressey-North Merced 115-kV Line Addition

·      Taft-Maricopa 70-kV Line Reconductor

·      Natividad Substation Interconnection

·      Soledad 115/60-kV Transformer Capacity

·      Tesla-Newark 230-kV Path Upgrade

·      Vaca Dixon-Lakeville 230-kV Reconductoring

Millar also noted that management has identified that further review of the need and scope for these PG&E-area projects is required in the 2017-2018 planning cycle:

·      Midway-Andrew 230-kV Project

·      Spring Substation

·      Wheeler Ridge Junction Substation

·      Lockeford-Lodi Area 230-kV Development

·      Vaca-Davis Voltage Conversion Project

Millar said that management is recommending that the project sponsors do not proceed with filings for permitting and certificates of public convenience and necessity until the California ISO completes the reviews.

Millar further noted that for these PG&E-area projects, all development activities are recommended to be put on hold until a review is complete:

·      Gates-Gregg 230-kV Line

·      Watsonville Voltage Conversion

·      Atlantic-Placer 115-kV Line

·      Northern Fresno 115-kV Area Reinforcement

·      South of San Mateo Capacity Increase

·      Evergreen-Mabury Conversion to 115-kV

·      New Bridgeville Garberville No. 2 115-kV Line

·      Cottonwood-Red Bluff No. 2 60-kV Line Project and Red Bluff Area 230-kV Substation Project

·      Kern PP 115-kV Area Reinforcement

·      Wheeler Ridge-Weedpatch 70-kV Line Reconductor

Millar said that in the San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) area, the Mission-Peñasquitos project requires further review.

In its statement, the California ISO said that in a separate item, the board approved the designation of two power plants, which were at risk of retirement, as reliability must-run resources needed to support grid reliability. After the generator owner, Calpine, indicated its intention to retire “peaker” generation plants, the California ISO studied the impact of retiring the plants and found that two of them, each 47 MW capacity – the Yuba City Energy Center and Feather River Energy Center – are needed to support continued reliable operation of the grid.

The California ISO added that the designation means that California ISO management has the authority to negotiate and execute a reliability must-run contract, under which the California ISO is able to call upon the units to generate electricity and provide ancillary services when needed for reliability. The California ISO said that it will review annual resource adequacy showings prior to concluding and finalizing any reliability must-run contract.