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CAISO selects SCE and Lotus to build high-voltage transmission line in Southern California

Southern California Edison (SCE) and Lotus Infrastructure Partners have announced that they have been chosen by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to develop, permit, own, operate, and maintain new transmission infrastructure to deliver energy from renewable sources, such as utility-scale solar, wind, and battery installations, to Southern California. The companies will build a high-voltage transmission line from Serrano Substation in north-central Orange County to a substation near the retired San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), largely utilizing existing rights of way.

Meeting the demand for clean energy

“New transmission in California needs to be built at up to four times historical rates to meet unprecedented new demand for electricity, driven by growth in EVs, heat pumps, data centers, and electrification across the economy,” said Steve Powell, president and CEO of SCE. “Adding transmission capacity is necessary to ensure the electric system is reliable, resilient, and ready to deliver more clean energy when and where it’s needed.”

Himanshu Saxena, chairman and CEO of Lotus, emphasized the critical role of transmission in the energy transition. “Lotus has been developing transmission assets for almost 20 years, including our most recent high-voltage transmission project in the Desert Southwest region, Ten West Link. It is clear that there can be no energy transition without energy transmission. Lotus is proud to partner with the CAISO, SCE, and the local communities to move this very important project forward and enable more renewable projects to be built to meet California’s clean energy goals.”

Project details and partnership

The North of SONGS to Serrano project involves the construction of a 30-mile, 500-kilovolt overhead transmission line. This infrastructure will significantly contribute to meeting California’s clean air and 2045 climate goals while bolstering reliability in the southern Orange County area.

Under the partnership agreement, Lotus will lead the project’s development phase. Upon completion and regulatory approval, SCE will acquire the entire project and lease 25% of the transmission capacity to Lotus. This collaboration leverages SCE’s expertise in delivering clean energy to customers and Lotus’s extensive experience in transmission development and ownership.

Competitive selection process

The selection of SCE and Lotus follows a rigorous competitive process conducted by the CAISO, in line with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Order No. 1000. The CAISO evaluated four proposals, considering factors such as cost, design, project implementation, and operations and maintenance, ultimately selecting the SCE-Lotus proposal for its comprehensive approach and potential to meet California’s future energy needs.

This project marks a significant step forward in California’s journey towards a sustainable energy future, demonstrating the critical role of strategic partnerships in achieving clean energy goals.


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