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The California Independent System Operator Corp.'s (CAISO) board of governors has approved five new power-line projects specifically intended to meet California's renewable energy goals.

The projects were part of the 2012-2013 transmission plan approved by the board. The plan also identified the need for 36 projects that support regional and national reliability standards. According to the CAISO, the 41 transmission projects approved in the plan - which are estimated to cost approximately $1.7 billion - are needed to maintain the reliability of the transmission system and allow the state to meet its 33% by 2020 renewable portfolio standard.

The transmission plan also examines infrastructure requirements for the ISO grid in the event that one or both nuclear power plants were to shut down. The plan is updated annually and looks out over a 10-year horizon to determine future grid needs.

Each annual ISO planning cycle includes the active participation of transmission owners, generation owners and other stakeholders, as well as coordination with the California Energy Commission and California Public Utilities Commission.

“The ISO is demonstrating California’s global energy leadership by showing how a greener grid is as resilient and reliable as the grids of yesterday while paving the way for tomorrow’s sustainable future and helping in the fight against climate change,” says Bob Foster, chairman of the CAISO board. “A more diverse grid is a more energy-secure grid.”

The full transmission plan can be viewed here.

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