Gov. Brown hopes California lawmakers approve regional grid plan

California Independent System Operator (CAISO) President and CEO, Steve Berberich reacted Aug. 8 to California Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr.’s (D) request to establish a governance proposal related to establishing a multi-state, regional energy grid.

Senate Bill 350, passed last year, requires the ISO to study the potential benefits of a regional grid and develop a governance proposal for submittal to the governor’s office by the end of 2017.

The ISO released a study in July that said a regional grid would help California reach its 50% renewable power target by 2030; lower greenhouse gas emissions and have other economic benefits.

Gov. Brown noted that the California Legislature has expressed its intent that the ISO evolve into a regional grid operator provided that certain conditions are met.

“While very significant progress has been made by the ISO on a transition proposal that meets the criteria in SB 350, there remain some important unresolved questions that would be difficult to answer in the remainder of this legislative session,” Brown said in an Aug. 8 letter to state lawmakers.

“Accordingly, I have directed my staff, the Energy Commission, the Public Utilities Commission and the California Air Resources Board to continue working with the Legislature, the ISO, interested parties and other state and energy regulators,” Brown said in the letter. “The goal is to develop a strong proposal that the Legislature can consider in January.”

“I’m confident that by working together we can get the job done,” Brown added.

Berberich praised Brown and the California Legislature for their continued commitment in establishing a regional electricity grid.

“We thank all stakeholders for the extensive progress that has been made to date,” Berberich said. “We look forward to working with stakeholders in California and throughout the western U.S. to further refine our governance proposal and any other remaining issues to ensure that all parties have ample time to fully evaluate the impacts of a western grid,”  Berberich said.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.