PG&E wants to build transmission link for San Francisco Bay Area power plant

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PG&E Corp. unit Pacific Gas & Electric submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) June 22 an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to build a nearly 2.5-mile, single-circuit 230-kV generation tie-line for the proposed Oakley generating station in the San Francisco Bay Area.

According to the application, Contra Costa Generating Station LLC in 2011 received California Energy Commission certification to build the Oakley generating station in the city of Oakley in Contra Costa County, Calif.

The CEC determined in its May 2011 order that the Oakley generating station will provide a degree of economic benefits and electricity reliability to the local area, and approved both the siting of the power plant as well as the proposed transmission tie-line. PG&E said in its application that it is obligated to interconnect the new facility through a large generator interconnection agreement among PG&E, the California ISO and CCGS.

In connection with its review of the project, the CEC completed an environmental assessment of the power plant and tie-lie, and determined that the facilities will have no significant direct, indirect or cumulative adverse environmental effects. As a result, PG&E submitted the CEC’s EA in lieu of a proponent’s EA. The company also requested that the CPUC determine that a hearing in the case is not necessary, given the limited issues in the application, and sought a decision on the application by the end of the year.

PG&E will construct, own and operate the tie-line, which will connect the Oakley generating station switchyard and the existing Contra Costa substation. According to the application, CCGS requested a May 2017 in-service date for the tie-line to allow for pre-operational testing of the Oakley generating station switchyard and plant about 10 months prior to full operation.

PG&E said it would support the new bundled, all-aluminum conductor with tubular steel poles, up to about 105 feet tall, in an existing 80-foot PG&E utility easement extending east from the company’s Contra Costa substation to the east side of State Route 160, north to the western edge of the generating station property, and east into the generating station property and switchyard in about 1,000 feet of new 80-foot right of way.

In addition, PG&E will place the new poles about 400 feet to 900 feet apart within the existing easement. The company said that shorter spans will be used within the Contra Costa substation, as well as the slack span where the tie-line enters the switchyard.

To construct the tie-line, PG&E will replace the existing 60-kV power line facilities in the project area.

According to the application, construction of the tie-line will take about 10 months and will cost about $5.5 million, which includes about $600,000 for site preparation, $1.7 million for a new breaker for the tie-line, and $3.2 million for the tie-line itself. PG&E estimated that construction would start in July 2016.

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