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PG&E joins partnership to compete for transmission projects in western US

is joiningan established partnership to compete for new transmission projects solicited bythe California ISO.

The subsidiary said April6 that it has formed a strategic alliance with TransCanyon LLC, a joint ventureof Berkshire Hathaway Energysubsidiary BHE U.S. Transmission and PinnacleWest Capital Corp. subsidiary Bright Canyon Energy.

"We believe our partnership with TransCanyon will providea competitive advantage for future projects," Gregg Lemler, PG&E's vicepresident for electric transmission operations, said in a news release. "Wewant to ensure that PG&E customers are getting the best deal on transmissionprojects. We believe this alliance will strengthen our collective competitive capabilitiesto provide better value projects for our customers."

PG&E and BHE U.S. Transmission are already familiar witheach other. In 2013 they teamed up and were selectedby CAISO to build the roughly 60-mile, 230-kV Gates-Gregg line, in California'sCentral Valley. BHE U.S. Transmission was then known as MidAmerican TransmissionLLC. Both partners in 2014 receivedincentive rate treatmentfrom FERC for their investments. The project was conceived as a double-circuit linethough CAISO has so far only approved a single circuit. It is scheduled to be inservice by April 2020.

The TransCanyon partnership was established in 2014 and was oneof the bidders for the500-kV Delaney-Colorado River line between the Delaney substation in Arizona andthe Colorado River substation in Southern California. It was not selected.

On its own, PG&E was selectedby CAISO last year for two substation projects due in service in 2020 and 2021.

CAISO's most recent transmission plan, approved by the grid operator's board in March, did not containany recommendations for projects to be awarded through a competitive solicitation.The plan is updated annually, and CAISO officials noted that California's 50%-by-2030renewable portfolio standard approved in 2015 might require some policy-driven gridadditions.