Southern California will soon be getting some updates and upgrades to its electric grid, though some critics maintain that the money being spent for the improvements could be put to better use. Among the changes to come will be upgrades to components and funds as well as additional funding to go toward new power generation.
$12 Billion in Improvements
Southern California Edison has reported that it plans to spend approximately $12 billion over the next three years toward modernization of the electric grid. The money will be spread out evenly over the three-year period as the company adjusts to changes in technology. While most of the funding will go toward upgrading transformers, cables, wires and electric poles, about $240 million each year will go toward new power innovations such as rooftop solar. This accounts for about 6 percent of the budgeted improvements planned for the next three years.
Meeting California’s Environmental Regulations
Just last month, Governor Jerry Brown signed new legislation that calls for even more stringent laws related to the environment. Namely, the legislation put a state mandate in place for clean energy to be at 50 percent or higher by 2030. Southern California Edison’s three-year plan will help the company provide the necessary energy while keeping the environmental impact at a minimum. The company also hopes to avoid having a negative impact on the economy and job creation.
Criticizing the Plan
While Southern California Edison is taking steps toward improvement, critics maintain that the company and other power companies are pursuing plans that do not actually align with their stated support for California’s energy goals. For example, Southern California Edison is currently trying to replace the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant with three natural gas-fired plants when critics maintain the company should be looking into options such as local renewables and battery storage. Critics maintain that this is just one example of the company’s tendency to overwhelmingly invest in conventional natural gas-fired generation without truly investing in local clean-energy options.
Critics argue that the company is essentially passing on unnecessarily high rates to its customers by refusing to tap into in-state solar and wind projects. Southern California Edison, on the other hand, reports that the steps the company is taking are necessary in order to ensure the electric grid remains reliable. Whereas renewable resources can fluctuate due to weather, natural gas plants provide continuous energy. As such, the company maintains that natural gas plants are needed to help integrate the renewable resources while still maintaining reliability.
Whether the money is being put to the best use possible or not is certainly a matter of debate, but the fact that the company is investing in the future of the state and its energy needs is certainly good news for residents. If you are interested in learning more about what Southern California has to offer, including its luxury real estate opportunities, contact our team of professional and experienced real estate agents. We specialize in properties within the area’s most exclusive and exquisite neighborhoods and communities.
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(all data current as of 5/29/2017)
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