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Brown Puts Electric Grid Merger On Hold

freethesun / Flickr
 

freethesun / Flickr

A plan to transform the California energy grid and partner with other Western states to share electricity will not move forward this year.

Governor Jerry Brown sent letters Monday to state lawmakers and governors that he’ll instead push for a vote next year. He says there are too many questions about how a regional grid would work.

The state’s grid operator says the partnership with Utah, Oregon and other Western states could help California meet its ambitious renewable energy goals, while saving up to a billion dollars a year.

The state could supply excess solar energy to other states, and then receive wind and natural gas power when the sun goes down, meaning less need for new power plants.

But California lawmakers, the Sierra Club, and consumer groups have questioned what control the state would retain over the mix of energy it uses—those other states rely heavily on coal, which California has largely phased out.

Brown says he’ll look to work out those details and pass a plan in January.