The new substation, located in North San Jose, expands power capacity in the region by 30%, adding 800 MW for San Jose and other cities—power for about 800,000 homes and businesses, according to a Reuters release.
Until now, PG&E substations could handle about 2300 MW of electricity at any one time, barely more than the 2100 MW used during peak periods in the summer of 2000, a San Jose Mercury News story said on Friday. So without this expansion, PG&E said that Silicon Valley faced a power shortage.
Silicon Valley uses about 20% of the electricity in the San Francisco Bay area and was one of the first areas hit by blackouts in California’s energy crisis in 2000-2001.
PG&E spokesman Jeff Smith said the project adds more than seven miles of high-voltage transmission lines, a new electric substation and other equipment to route more electricity into the area, boosting the total supply to more than 3000 MW, according to the Reuters report.