Months of exceptionally cold and rainy weather have made it easy to forget that just eight months ago in California we endured the most extreme September heatwave on record. High temperatures drove record-breaking demand for electricity, and the state managed to avoid blackouts by tapping into a wave of new solar energy and battery energy storage resources and facilities that helped send clean, renewable power to shoulder the load.
A long-range outlook released by California’s grid operator offers a glimpse at what the state’s electric system may look like in 20 years — a portfolio with dramatically more renewable energy sources in the power mix, accompanied by a price tag of about $30.5 billion in transmission costs alone.
The California Independent System Operator, known as the CAISO for short, manages the electric grid for about 80 percent of the Golden State and a small part of Nevada. Every year, the organization conducts an annual transmission analysis and then updates its 10-year planning horizon.