Gov. Newsom, state legislators announce agreement to cleaner, reliable grid

By SDCN Editors

Electric power lines. Photo: Gina Yarbrough/San Diego County News

Sacramento, CA–Governor Gavin Newsom and the legislature reached an agreement on the governor’s package to build more clean energy, make the grid more reliable, and help achieve our 100% clean electricity goal. 

Thursday marks a critical step in California’s work to combat the climate crisis and ensure its grid is powered by clean energy 24×7.

The state says it faces a challenge with electric retail sellers, like utilities, to procure electricity for customers. That’s why California passed legislation to streamline infrastructure projects.

“It’s how we all power our homes. But these sellers may not buy the clean energy – like offshore wind or long-duration storage – that we need to achieve a 100% clean electric grid. Red tape and unclear guidance can slow clean energy projects from breaking ground,” state officials said in a news release.

The state plans to buy energy to bring more clean electricity to the grid and streamline electric infrastructure projects. It also is creating a central buyer to procure clean electricity for the grid, focusing on sources like offshore wind and long-duration storage to diversify the state’s energy portfolio – creating a market for diverse sources of clean electricity that will spur more projects to break ground.

Other clean energy projects include:

  • Accelerate permitting for electric transmission projects – like power lines and transformers – to deliver more clean electricity throughout the state, cutting permitting timelines by months.
  • New measures to help prevent the misuse of the new Strategic Reliability Reserve which is designed to maintain grid reliability during extreme weather events, like heat waves.
  • Aligns the state’s primary clean energy planning and procurement programs – Renewables Portfolio Standard, Resource Adequacy, and Integrated Resource Planning – with our 100% clean electricity by 2045 goal in an effort to chart a clear path to our clean energy future.

“We’ve set some of the most ambitious clean energy goals in the nation to break the vicious cycle of climate change-caused energy emergencies – we need every tool at our disposal to achieve them,” Governor Newsom said. “This legislation will help us achieve a 100% clean electric grid and phase out the very pollution that causes extreme weather in the first place. We’re taking action to build the clean energy we need, faster.”

CA Assembly Bill 1373, introduced by Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia and Phil Ting, and Senator Josh Becker, and co-authored by Assemblymember Jim Wood, enables California to draw together the strength of many electricity providers to procure the difficult but essential resources that the state’s future grid needs, including offshore wind energy and new geothermal power generation. 

“Given the growing impacts of climate change, it’s critically important that our state invests in safety nets that will bolster our energy resiliency and help us meet our climate goals. Procuring energy from reliable and responsible sources also protects California against future fluctuations in the energy market,” Senate President pro-Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) said. 

“In California, we meet the challenges of our vast state with innovative solutions. With agreement from the Governor and the President pro-Tempore, we are now poised to build bigger clean-energy resources and meet the needs of our growing and greening electricity grid,” Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) said. 

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