Assembly Bill 538 "jumpstarts" conversation around regional grid collaboration, with the potential to save hundreds of millions in energy costs
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Introduced by Assemblymember Chris Holden (AD41), Assembly Bill 538 would create a structure that would allow the California Independent System Operation (CAISO) to integrate into a broader, independent regional transmission operator (RTO). A 2022 economic development study commissioned by Advanced Energy United and conducted by Energy Strategies found that a transition like the one proposed in AB 538 could create over 138,000 jobs and save ratepayers $538 million per year in energy costs.
"We applaud Assemblymember Holden for his leadership in jumpstarting a thoughtful and action-oriented conversation around regional grid collaboration. California should work with the rest of the West to strengthen energy reliability, affordability and accelerate our progress toward 100% clean energy,” said Amisha Rai, Advanced Energy United’s Vice President of Policy and Advocacy. “This is the moment for action. Today, 85% of electricity demand in the West is under a 100% clean goal. California should not miss this opportunity to lead the way.”
The introduction of today’s bill follows the passage of ACR 188 in 2022, which received a strong show of bipartisan support in both houses. The resolution, supported by a broad coalition of clean energy industry groups, environmental organizations and business groups, called for the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to report on recent regional grid developments that have taken place in the West and the implications for California. CAISO released a draft of the report last month, detailing the significant benefits California would accrue from joining an expanded regional grid system in the West.