California’s Electricity Generation and Transmission Interconnection Needs Under Alternative Scenarios
In planning for the transmission interconnections for the future, California has to look ahead 25 to 30 years to allow adequate lead time for corridor planning, transmission rights-of-way, and coordination with other states. Much of the existing interconnection system was planned 30 to 40 years ago. Transmission projects have 10-year lead-time. Generation projects are planned with a much shorter lead-time. Hence, there is no reliable information on new power plant locations to guide long range transmission planning. Yet, if California does not start the early stages of planning for the longer term, the opportunity to site needed new transmission interconnections may be lost or become prohibitively expensive, just as in the case of building new freeways or airports in population centers.