Kings County Getting First Battery Storage Plant

“The future is going to overwhelmingly be solar plus battery. They go together like peanut butter and jelly.” – Elon Musk

Kings County is processing a conditional-use permit to build a 20-acre, six-phase battery storage facility, designed to work with nearby utility-size solar plants to save and deliver electric power to the grid in morning and evening hours. The logic of storage technology – one can save energy you produce for when it is needed the most. It works when the wind does not blow or the sun does not shine.

The California PUC has mandated that utilities contract to buy 1,325 MW of battery storage by 2020, and some of it right now. PG&E has awarded a contract to NY-based Convergent Energy for 10MW of DC powered batteries that will be set up at a site near the Henrietta substation near Lemoore, that is already surrounded by a sea of solar farms.

Criss-crossed by major transmission lines and popular with solar farm developers, Kings County is likely going to get more of these next generation of renewable energy facilities in coming years.

Henrietta D Energy Storage LLC, is a 10-MW distribution-connected, stand-alone zinc-air battery energy storage resource with a discharge duration of four hours. It will be located at 16885 25th Ave., near NAS Lemoore. The expected initial delivery date is May 1, 2020, with a term of 20 years.

While the first phase of the project is a modest 10 megawatts, the conditional permit calls for up to 187 megawatts, some 760 boxcar-size power units, that will look like a white city from the Avenal Cutoff highway.

Kings County has been a hotbed of solar activity in the past few years with more coming. That includes several large Recurrent Energy solar farms near this proposed battery plant including the new NAS Lemoore 167MW solar facility on 930 acres at the base. In a nod to defense security, the Navy has favored battery storage technology for the base, home of the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, to be more self-sufficient and to ensure the lights stay on – even if the grid goes dark.

Convergent Energy spokesman Frank Genova, the firm’s CFO, says they have “big plans for the expansion of this site that will depend on how fast demand increases” for stored energy in the area. Genova says “technology improvements and increased production has driven battery costs down,” helping to spur more installations, particularly in California. The oil and offshore renewable energy giant Statoil, recently made a large equity investment in Convergent.

Clearly falling prices are helping with one source saying the price of lithium ion batteries dropped 90 percent between 1990 and 2005, and has continued dropping.  Meanwhile, California has been the most aggressive at using the new technology to help replace power from the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant, and soon-to-be-closed Diablo Canyon.

Helping to drive down the cost for batteries has been the construction of the Elon Musk-inspired Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada that opened in December. Tesla has been behind the opening of a new 80MW battery storage facility for SCE located near Los Angeles that fired up last year. It helped replace power lost from the big natural gas leak at the Sempra Energy’s Aliso Canyon storage facility in 2015 that backed up intermittent power from wind and solar farms.

Battery storage is only one type of storage technology. Pumped hydro has been used by PG&E in Sierra at the huge Helms plant for decades to store and release power when needed, moving water uphill  when it is cheap at night.

In related news, PG&E also has announced it would contract with Amber Kinetics to build 20MW, four-hour duration Gen-2 Flywheel Systems. The company says it believes its steel flywheel technology will drive down pricing while enhancing operational safety and flexibility for utility-scale energy storage. Until now, commercial flywheel system capabilities were measured in minutes, with limited usefulness to electric utilities seeking to integrate renewable energy at transmission and micro-grid levels.

Amber Kinetics’ technology offers critical advantages over batteries, says the firm. Even with unlimited cycling during their 30-year lifespan, the systems have no degradation. Because they are 98 percent steel by weight, they pose no risk of fire, chemical explosion or hazardous materials release. Most important, because they are manufactured from readily available, abundant raw materials and don’t need replacement at regular intervals, they are significantly more cost effective than batteries.

Energy Nuevo, Amber Kinetics’ 20 MW project located in the city of Fresno, was selected by PG&E in California’s first energy storage solicitation. It is believed to be one of the largest ever for a transmission level flywheel system. Energy Nuevo will provide energy storage beginning in 2020.

Also PG&E selected Hecate Energy for a 1MW lithium ion energy storage facility at the old Kearney substation.

Kings County Getting First Battery Storage Plant, by John Lindt, The Sentinel, March 16, 2017.

Central Valley Farmers and Renewable Energy feature at the California Climate & Agriculture Summit

On February 28 I attended the fifth annual California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN) Summit at UC Davis with my colleague and co-worker Kristin Berger.

CalCAN is a Sacramento and Sonoma County-based coalition that advances policy solutions at the nexus of climate change and sustainable agriculture.

Central Valley Farmers made a good showing at the Summit to share their experiences in implementing measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lead toward sustainability in other respects.

T&D Willey Farms, an organic farm in Madera was on one of the first panels to talk about current research on both climate mitigation as well as adaptation. T&D Willey is also the host of “Down on the Farm” a radio program hosted by Tom Willey on KFCF 88.1FM out of Fresno that frequently covers climate issues and other sustainability-related issues in the agricultural sector.

Energy issues, including Community Choice Energy, got a real workout at the breakout session “Net Energy Metering & What it Means for Farmers.” Terra Nova Ranch, located near the town of Helm in Fresno County discussed the challenges and ultimate rewards of deploying two solar arrays on their farm.

The issues discussed in the Energy breakout session are addressed in depth in a report shared at the conference: “Shining Brighter: Farmer Perspectives on California Renewable Energy Program.”

Also in attendance were representatives of the Burroughs Family Farm of Stanislaus County that features a wide range of sustainability practices including tracking solar arrays.

My colleague Kristin met growers from Northern California, the Central Valley, and the Central Coast, and learned the challenges faced from working leased land, owning and working smaller parcels of land and/or land located adjacent to developed areas, and growers identifying themselves as disadvantaged. She attended panels on California’s water efficiency, soil quality management, and farmland conservation incentive projects sourced from the newly available cap and trade money.  

California’s State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) first three rounds of funding have produced savings of 12.2 billion gallons of water and 11,278 tons of CO2, or the equivalent of taking 2,374 passenger vehicles off the road. Another panel focused on soil health provided in-depth information about California’s Department of Food and Agriculture Healthy Soils Program and other related programs offered through state and federal agencies. A panel on farmland conservation projects organized by American Farmland Trust touted the “triple harvest” of climate protection, smart growth, and food security. 

A video of the plenary session, speaker bios and more is available from CalCAN online in a full recap of the Summit.

Central Valley Solar Activity Cooling

Tulare County construction activity is slowing down and new solar permits are following suit. 

Within the commercial numbers there has been a big drop seen in permits for solar panel in the county in 2017 versus 2016. In the residential sector permits for 643 solar units were issued in early 2016 versus just 247 so far this year.

On the commercial side, solar permit valuation in early 2016 was $62 million vs just $11 million so far this year with an ebb in larger projects. Solar units on dairies are the exception this year with strong numbers.

Central Valley Solar Activity Cooling, by John Lindt, Visalia Times-Delta, March 3, 2017.

County Starts Climate Impact Study

HANFORD – The state was offering a grant to counties to study and prepare for local effects of climate change, and Kings County went for it.

This week, county supervisors accepted $9,900 in federal money funneled through the state to have employees at the Kings County Department of Public Health conduct the study, which should finish up in May.

Although they accepted the grant, Kings County supervisors aren’t necessarily fully on board with California’s aggressive push to reduce human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels that the vast majority of scientists say is contributing to climate change.

“My view is that, if we can look at issues that affect our community that don’t have to have that political term ‘climate’ change attached to it, that’s OK,” said Supervisor Craig Pedersen. “But if we’re going to be told to go out and find climate change, that’s not our [responsibility].”

Pedersen said the county doesn’t have to report results of the study to the state.

“This is just saying, ‘Here’s some money to help you plan for impacts of whatever is happening,'” Pedersen said.

The state Department of Water Resources has warned that climate change is likely to result in shorter, warmer winters with less snow, hotter, longer summers and more intense droughts.

Supervisor Doug Verboon said Kings has to “deal with the possibility of warmer winters.”

“I don’t know that it’s going to happen, [but] I know that the powers that be are talking about it,” Verboon said.

Verboon said the argument that there will be longer, more intense droughts can be used to support the construction of Temperance Flat, a second dam on the San Joaquin River that, if built, would capture more water in wet years.

Supervisor Joe Neves thinks the biggest impact on local climate will come from fallowing cropland and taking it out of production due to lack of water.

Neves predicted that’s what will happen because of two things: the state’s environmental policies keeping more runoff in streams and wetlands (i.e. farmers get less) and the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which requires farmers to pump out only as much groundwater as they can put back in through recharge.

Neves predicted more dust in the air, more valley fever cases, more asthma and more breathing issues as the San Joaquin Valley rolls back total irrigated acreage.

“You’d have more dust storms, and you’d have a lot of other environmental issues,” Neves said. “The last 40 years, we have artificially made our climate a little bit more moist by introducing more and more water into what is basically a desert environment. Now, we’re going to be going backward.”

Whether or not the severe drought of the last several years can be directly attributed to climate change or not, Darcy Pickens, an environmental health educator at the Kings County Public Health Department, said it has had effects.

She pointed to well failures and declining groundwater quality as the water table has dropped.

“When we have long periods of drought, clean drinking water or access to clean drinking water can be an issue,” she said.

Pickens said this is the first study of its kind done locally by Kings County.

She said the study will focus on things like air pollution, which worsened during the drought.

“The state, they expect air quality to deteriorate,” she said. “They expect us to have long periods of drought followed by periods of heavy rainfall. They do expect fires to get worse.”

“That’s part of what we’ll be looking at in the report,” she said.

Pickens said the study will examine ways to adapt to and mitigate the negative effects.

Kings County Public Health Director Keith Winkler pointed to possible valley fever spikes from a winter coming on the heels of several years of drought.

The fungal spores grow in the soil, which is then stirred up and inhaled into the lungs.

Winkler said more cases have been reported after wet, rainy winters.

“There are indications that when you have a wet year, that promotes the growth of the valley fever fungus,” Winkler said. “Then you have that much more potential for spores to be released in the summer. There does seem to be a correlation.”

Winkler also pointed to the possibility of more extreme local heatwaves like the 2006 episode that killed thousands of livestock.

Kings County residents will have a chance to provide input on the study through public hearings, although none have been scheduled yet, according to Winkler.

County Starts Climate Impact Study, by Seth Nidever, Hanford Sentinel, February 17, 2017.

Local Dairy Installs Huge Solar Project

HANFORD – A local dairy has installed what may be the largest solar power system to date for a dairy in Kings County, according to Sunvalley Solar Inc.

The company sent out a press release Monday indicating that the 2.2-megawatt system it just finished installing at the Wreden Ranch Dairy between Hanford and Lemoore is the biggest yet for a local milking operation.

When combined with a 1.1 megawatt system installed in 2015, the new array brings the dairy up to 3.3 megawatts of total generating capacity.

Sunvalley said that’s enough to offset 85 percent of the dairy’s electricity needs.

Local Dairy Installs Huge Solar Project, by Staff, Hanford Sentinel, February 14, 2017.

Center for Water Technology Receives $500,000 Grant for Energy Innovation

Fresno State’s International Center for Water Technology received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to create the Central Valley Regional Energy Innovation Accelerator program.

The International Center for Water Technology and the Water, Energy and Technology (WET) Center will oversee the three-year program that will assist 20 to 25 entrepreneurs in the water, energy and agricultural industries with guidance in product and technology development, commercialization, financial and market analysis, sales strategies and team building.

Participants will be part of a fourth-month cohort that includes a robust curriculum, mentorship, workshops, presentations and conferences with potential customers, industry leaders and investors.

Opportunities for accelerator companies include seed capital funding, office space, a cultivated network of mentors and other resources needed to help scale their startups in exchange for a small amount of equity.

The program is modeled after an award-winning entrepreneurship curriculum designed by Village Capital and based on its peer-selected investment model.

The federal grant originated from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies program. Out of 215 applicants, 35 organizations across the U.S. were selected for the $15 million program.

The accelerator program will leverage industry partnerships created by the state energy commission’s Central Valley regional cluster for agriculture, water and energy that was announced in 2016 and will also be located on the Fresno State campus. The cluster is funded by a $5 million grant that will encourage and assist entrepreneurs and emerging companies from 39 counties statewide to develop water and energy-saving technology. The cluster program will also create water management education programs to assist disadvantaged areas in the state.

“The accelerator and regional cluster strengthen the Central Valley’s national reputation as a leader in water, energy and ag technologies and innovation,” said Helle Petersen, WET Center manager. “The accelerator fills a critical gap in start-up support and is a logical next step for some of the top emerging companies from our cluster. The emerging companies’ viability will be strongly enhanced in their most sensitive period by securing funding and being surrounded by a network of industry experts and end-users. The area’s economic growth and core industries such as agriculture will benefit from the job creation, private investment and new technology.”

With Fresno State’s water research experience and its 1,000-acre campus farm, emerging companies can also work with campus faculty, staff and students and industry leaders from the nation’s leading agricultural area.

Accelerator program candidates will be evaluated based on their products’ scalability, potential return, highest impact, fundability, commercial value, personnel skills and leadership. More information will be available at www.BlueTechValley.org or by contacting Helle Petersen at hellep@csufresno.edu.

Center for Water Technology Receives $500,000 Grant for Energy Innovation, Fresno State Press, January 17, 2017.

Visalia Schools Green with Renewable Energy

The sun is shining on Visalia Unified School District and a project to take more schools green.

Over the spring semester, the district will add 10 more campuses to the growing list of schools using solar panels to help lower energy costs.

“It helps us reduce our overall costs,” said Steve Pena, VUSD project manager. “We generate power in the mornings and evenings. This will help offset costs of what we use.”

The construction projects will be the third phase in the district’s solar project, which began in 2013. The first two phases were funded with Measure E, Proposition 39 and local money, administration said.

Solar panels for the first two phases, which were added to 11 campuses, were purchased by the school. In the third phase, panels will be leased through Solar City.

“We didn’t have the roughly $10 million to purchase the panels,” Pena said. “We will lease them through a PPA, just like a homeowner does.”

The district will pay 12 cents per kilowatt to the solar company, compared to the 17 cents the district is currently spending. If the district wishes to buy the panels, they may do so at a later time, Pena said.

The the third phase will cost Visalia Unified $1.5 million, which will be used to build the awnings used to house the panels.

Campuses set to undergo construction over the next few months include El Diamante High School, Annie R. Mitchell Elementary, Oak Grove Elementary, Shannon Ranch Elementary, VTEC, Manuel F. Hernandez Elementary, Ridgeview Middle School, Cottonwood Creek Elementary and Four Creeks Elementary. A solar panel installation at Golden West will be used for both the high school and the nearby Adult School.

Construction woes

The panels are set to be installed in school parking lots, which has some concerned about accessibility.

Construction began at Oak Grove last week and, weather permitting, will be completed by the end of the week, said John Davis, Oak Grove principal.

“Of course we do everything we can to mitigate inconveniences to families in the community,” he said. “We made sure we didn’t lose drop-off and pick-up locations. That was really important to us.”

As with all sites undergoing construction, the awnings will be completed a few months before the panels are set to arrive. This will help with parking, as spaces will be open to staff and families in-between installations.

Work on the project is also scheduled around the less-active times of the school day.

Currently, the construction is in the center of the Oak Grove’s parking lot and in a section of the adjacent sports field. Both areas are fenced off to keep students, faculty and community members safe, Davis said.

“Of course we want to reduce any inconveniences to our community, but our first priority is always the safety of our students,” he added.

Construction at Manuel F. Hernandez will begin on Thursday and will continue until at least May 5. Although the project will take three months to complete, the bulk of the parking lot construction that will impact drivers will be completed by mid-February.

Still, school officials are doing everything possible to make the process easier on families, Principal Cheryl LaVerne said.

The school’s drop-off and pick-up lane will remain open for those not walking with students onto campus.

“The biggest inconvenience will be for parents who park and pick up their students,” LaVerne said. “There will still be parking, just not as close and as much as we’re used to.”

An estimated two-thirds of the parking lot spaces will be blocked off over the next couple weeks.

Aside from fencing around construction areas, staff will monitor the parking lot during both morning and afternoon drop-off/pick-up times to ensure parent and student safety, LaVerne said.

Apart from energy savings, both sites are also excited about the shade the solar panels will provide.

“It’s really a win, win,” LaVerne said.

Davis agreed.

“We’re doing the right thing in the community by having clean energy,” he said. “Eight months out of the year we’ll be awfully glad to have shade.”

He and his staff are already looking at ways to take advantage of the awnings in the school’s sports field, like using it as a picnic space.

“The long term has many positives,” Davis said. “Short term, we’re doing everything we can to try to mitigate inconveniences.”

Visalia Schools Green with Renewable Energy, by Calley Cederlof, The Visalia Times-Delta, January 31, 2017.

San Joaquin Valley EV Partnership: Workplace Charging Workshop

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Hosted by the San Joaquin Valley Electric Vehicle Partnership (SJVEVP), we will be holding a Workplace Charging Workshop on Friday, February 24th. The event will take place in Founders Hall at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital from 9:30am to 2:00pm.

Presentations

  • Introduction to Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations: San Joaquin Valley Clean Cities Coalition
  • EV Charging Equipment: EVgo, Telefonix, ChargePoint, Envision Solar, Fresno Yosemite International Airport
  • EV Incentives: Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Center for Sustainable Energy, EV Perks
  • Electric Vehicles: Nissan of Bakersfield, Jim Burke Ford, Proterra, GreenPower
  • Workplace Charging: San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Telefonix

There will be an electric vehicle display in the parking lot.

Attend Event

A continental breakfast and hot lunch will be provided. Registration for the workshop is $40. There is a discount for paid members of the San Joaquin Valley Clean Cities Coalition.

For sponsorship and vendor booth information, please contact Courtney Velasco at 661-847-9756 or projectcleanairoffice@gmail.com.

Funding assistance provided by:

UC Berkeley Study: State Climate Programs Injected $13 Billion into Valley’s Economy

California climate and clean air initiatives have led to more than $13 billion in net economic benefits for the San Joaquin Valley, a study conducted by University of California at Berkeley researchers has found.

The university’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment and Donald Vial Center on Employment in the Green Economy authored the study, which was commissioned by the nonprofit organization Next 10.

The research looked at three specific impacts – cap and trade, California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard and energy efficiency programs under the California Public Utilities Commission – in Fresno, Madera, Merced, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare counties.

“Given the positive impacts, (renewable energy) is a tremendous opportunity for the Valley in terms of job creation and continued economic growth,” Next 10 founder F. Noel Perry said.

Perry said most of the economic stimulation came from construction jobs related to affordable housing, solar and wind power facilities, high-speed rail and increased public transportation options. He believes this is the first academic study of the economic effects of California’s climate policies in the San Joaquin Valley.

It was important to focus on the Valley, the study says, because it is highly susceptible to air pollution problems and has a higher concentration of poverty than most areas of the state.

Renewables Portfolio Standard

Most of the economic gains came through compliance with California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard, which requires the state to get 33 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 and 50 percent by 2030. The study found that construction on renewable energy products contributed $11.6 billion to the Valley economy.

The San Joaquin Valley is now home to 24 percent of the state’s solar generation and 54 percent of its wind generation, despite accounting for only about 11 percent of California’s population.

From 2002-15, about 31,000 direct jobs in renewable energy were created through actions like hiring construction crews to build new solar or wind-power facilities and maintenance teams to keep them running. Another 57,000 jobs were created in related fields – including suppliers, support businesses and contract work.

Betony Jones, associate chair of the Vial Center, said most of these jobs were local and high-paying with benefits.

The study notes that businesses feared having to lay off workers in order to comply with state emissions standards, but Jones said her research did not find any actual employment loss.

Jones said the low cost of crude petroleum offset the costs incurred by high-emitting industries – oil and gas extraction, transportation, fuel refining and so on. These companies were able to purchase allowances through the state’s cap-and-trade program, in which the state auctions off emissions exemptions. Industries that are unable to meet emissions limits can purchase excess capacity from lower-emitting industries or through the auctions.

Cap and trade

The report noted a direct economic benefit of $119 million due to the state’s cap-and-trade program. Money gained by the state through the allowance auctions is then dished out to renewable energy products throughout the state. Standards require that 25 percent of all cap-and-trade dollars go to areas of poverty, and most of the Valley qualifies as impoverished.

If you count money that has been allocated but not yet disbursed to Valley projects, the study said, that number rises to $1 billion.

Researchers found a potential negative impact of 400 jobs lost due to compliance with cap-and-trade laws, but they believe more than 700 direct jobs and 1,600 support jobs were created.

Ethan Elkind, the climate director for Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment, said the Valley right now has priority access to cap-and-trade funds, but that could be in jeopardy.

A lawsuit brought against the state claims the cap-and-trade program is actually a tax – one that would require a public vote. If the lawsuit succeeds, most of these benefits would likely be wiped out in the near future.

Energy efficiency programs

The study found the energy efficiency programs administered by the California Public Utilities Commission created 6,700 direct and more than 10,000 indirect jobs from 2006-15. In all, the programs injected $248 million into the economy since 2010.

Jones, with the Vial Center, said the Valley’s programs are the most cost-efficient in the state.

“The return of benefits is 1.5 times their cost,” Jones said. “This is the highest measure of any region in the state.”

Like the Renewables Portfolio Standard, the utilities commission’s programs will be in place for at least several years more. The researchers believe both will continue to bring economic gains to the Valley, and they recommend that the state work to resolve the cap-and-trade lawsuit in order to keep that cash flow intact as well.

UC Berkeley Study: State Climate Programs Injected $13 Billion into Valley’s Economy, by Rory Appleton, The Fresno Bee, January 21, 2017.

California Agencies Says Expanded Transmission Key to Meeting Renewable Mandate

For California to meet its ambitious goals for increasing renewable energy and cutting carbon dioxide emissions, electric transmission infrastructure must be expanded, according to a draft of a joint report by a number of state agencies.

The draft Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI) 2.0 report issued Dec. 16 seeks to identify areas inside and outside of California where utility-scale renewable energy can be accessed. The report also seeks to identify opportunities to develop electric transmission.

The RETI 2.0 effort is a statewide initiative sponsored by the California Natural Resources Agency, the California Energy Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission, the California ISO and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Development of the plan involved extensive, public discussions with stakeholders at more than a dozen workshops over a 13-month period.

Transmission development and new renewable energy sources could help the state meet the mandates set by Senate Bill 350, which calls for generating half of California’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and Senate Bill 32, which requires California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

The report found that utility-scale solar photovoltaic is cost competitive across much of California and that while many of the best and most accessible wind resources in the state have been developed, improvements in wind turbine technology could allow more wind resources to become cost-effective.

Tapping renewable energy in some of the state’s most renewable-rich areas such as the San Joaquin Valley, Imperial Valley, and the desert is feasible due to extensive planning efforts by local officials and stakeholders, but may require new transmission.

The report examined additional potential transmission challenges. One is the potential need for a new transmission line to deliver power from San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial counties. Two alternative projects were identified, either of which would face permitting challenges and costs of up to $1 billion.

Report looks at various constraints, mitigation options

California-Oregon Intertie

· The California-Oregon Intertie consists of three 500 kV transmission lines with a rated capacity of 4,800 MW connecting the Pacific Northwest and Northern California

· There is currently no existing capacity available for new fully-deliverable resources from either generation in Northern California or imports from the Northwest

· Providing new capacity could require new transmission from the Oregon border to the Tracy area, at an order-of-magnitude cost of $2 billion – $4 billion

· Capacity on the COI could potentially be increased through advanced transmission technologies or new transmission elsewhere in the Western Interconnection to reduce regional loop flow

· Operational improvements – scheduling coordination and dynamic line rating – could increase the utilization of existing capacity

San Joaquin Valley

· The hypothetical study range of 5,000 MW would trigger a need for substantial upgrades to the 115 kV or 230 kV network, at an estimated order-of-magnitude cost of $400 million-to-$500 million

· If a large quantity of new generation could be geographically concentrated and connected to the 500 kV system, it could potentially offer lower cost and greater system benefits

· RETI 2.0 stakeholders also suggested that the San Joaquin Valley constraints could be an appropriate application of advanced technologies like power flow control

Desert Area Constraint

· The Desert Area Constraint is a transmission constraint that affects deliverability of new renewable generation from a vast area including the Victorville-Barstow, Riverside East, and Imperial Valley TAFAs, as well as imports from the Eldorado or Palo Verde import-export paths

· This constraint can take different forms – triggered by different contingencies and limiting facilities – depending on the resource development mix from different areas

· The California ISO, Southern California Edison, and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) are currently coordinating to address the most critical of these limitations – an upgrade of the Lugo-Victorville 500 kV line at an approximate cost of $34 million

· The second constraint arises at an incremental level of generation of as little as 2,000-4,000 MW (if concentrated in Riverside East) or as high as 5,500 to 8,500 MW (from all affected TAFAs combined)

· Possible mitigations for this limitation could include either a new series compensated 500 kV line between Mira Loma substation in the Inland Empire and the Red Bluff substation near Desert Center or a new 500 kV line between Lugo and Eldorado substations. Either of these projects could have significant permitting challenges and an order-of-magnitude cost of $1 billion.

California Agencies Says Expanded Transmission Key to Meeting Renewable Mandate, by Wayne Barber, TransmissionHub, December 28, 2016.