A coalition that includes cities, towns, and counties in California; community choice aggregators; and state energy industry groups recently urged California officials to take action to address interconnection delays that the coalition says are impeding a wide range of projects.
“We the undersigned parties -- representing cities, towns, and counties; Community Choice Aggregators; and energy, rural, business, and environmental and climate groups — urge California policy makers to take urgent action to address unacceptable delays in connecting new construction, critical services, renewable energy, building decarbonization, and other projects to the state’s distribution and transmission grids,” the April 26 letter states.
The letter was sent to California Assembly and Senate leadership, the California Public Utilities Commission and the Governor's office.
“California is facing an unprecedented climate crisis and is pursuing bold efforts to transition to zero-carbon energy. At the same time, California has a housing availability and affordability crisis which demands the rapid construction of new housing,” the letter said.
“These goals cannot be realized because many projects cannot connect to the power grid. Interconnection delays, ranging from months to years, harm residents, businesses, local job creation and economic development efforts, and state and local economies.”
Severely delayed and abandoned electrical projects “are a growing problem in communities throughout California. Hundreds of local projects spanning rural to urban have been delayed or cancelled, including service extensions to new affordable housing units and critical service sites ranging from hospitals to police/fire stations,” the coalition said.
Hookups for new electric vehicle charging stations and utility-scale and customer-sited renewable energy projects are also in peril, the letter said.
Interconnection delays and resulting project cancellations “threaten California’s ability to respond to the climate and housing crises; prevent Californians from accessing important critical services; and harm communities by increasing project costs and reducing job opportunities.”
The coalition urged California policy makers “to take immediate and decisive action to ensure interconnection and service extensions to new construction, renewable energy, building decarbonization, and other electrical projects are completed in a timely manner.”