Governor Newsom and Legislative Leaders Announce Agreement to Fast-Track a Cleaner, More Reliable Grid

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

The text of the package can be found here.

Here’s the challenge: Electric retail sellers, like utilities, procure electricity for customers; 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.

That’s why California passed legislation to streamline infrastructure projects.

And now, California is going to step in: Buying energy to bring more clean electricity to the grid and streamline electric infrastructure projects:

  1. PROCURE CLEAN ELECTRICITY. California is creating a central buyer to procure clean electricity for the grid, focusing on sources like offshore wind and long-duration storage to diversify our energy portfolio – creating a market for diverse sources of clean electricity that will spur more projects to break ground.
  2. FAST-TRACK ELECTRIC INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS. Accelerate permitting for electric transmission projects – like power lines and transformers – to deliver more clean electricity throughout the state, cutting permitting timelines by months.
  3. STRENGTHEN THE STRATEGIC RELIABILITY RESERVE. 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 heatwaves.
  4. MODERNIZE CLEAN ENERGY PROCUREMENT PROGRAMS. 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.

What Governor Newsom said: “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. 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.”

What Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) said: “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. I applaud Assemblymember Garcia and Senator Becker for authoring this innovative approach to clean energy procurement, and appreciate the leadership of Speaker Rivas and Governor Newsom on this effort.”

What Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) 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. AB 1373 enables the state to draw together the strength of many electricity providers to procure the difficult but essential resources that our future grid needs, including offshore wind energy and new geothermal power generation. This complex legislation includes careful checks and balances and required months of work. I am grateful to the Assembly members that led on that collaboration.”