Pacific Gas and Electric's
Proposed Embarcadero-Potrero 230 kV Transmission Project

(Application A.12-12-004, filed December 11, 2012)

Welcome to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) website for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of Pacific Gas and Electric's (PG&E) Embarcadero-Potrero 230 kilovolt (kV) Transmission Project. An application for this project was submitted to the CPUC on December 11, 2012 (A.12-12-004), which started the CPUC proceeding to decide whether a Certification of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) should be issued. The CPUC reviewed the application and in a decision on January 16, 2014 (D.14-01-07) approved the project and issued a CPCN. This website provides access to public documents and information relevant to the CEQA review process.


The Embarcadero-Potrero 230 kV Transmission Project includes construction, operation, and maintenance of a 230 kV transmission line entirely within the City and County of San Francisco from Embarcadero Substation near the corner of Fremont and Folsom Streets to Potrero Switchyard on Illinois Street between 22nd and 23rd Streets.

The new 230 kV transmission line will be approximately 3.5 miles in length, including approximately 2.5 miles installed offshore in the seafloor of San Francisco Bay, 0.4 mile installed in horizontal directional drills (HDD) from two onshore transition points to the Bay, and approximately 0.6 miles underground in conventional trenching. The new transmission line will be placed in City streets, including Spear Street and Folsom Street in San Francisco's Rincon Hill neighborhood and 23rd Street east of Illinois Street. Construction of a new 230 kV switchyard will occur near the existing Potrero Switchyard, but no new substation work will occur at the existing Embarcadero Substation beyond the proposed termination of the new cable into the 230 kV bus.

PG&E's project objectives include improving the reliability of the existing transmission system in San Francisco to provide a high likelihood of continued electric service to downtown San Francisco in the event of overlapping outages on both of two existing 230 kV transmission lines that presently feed Embarcadero Substation.

CPUC Application Review and Approval

The PG&E Embarcadero-Potrero 230 kV Transmission Project was evaluated in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). A Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) was prepared to inform the CPUC and public of the potential project impacts and available mitigation (information on the MND preparation is provided below). The CPUC voted on January 16, 2014 to approve the PG&E Embarcadero-Potrero 230 kV Transmission Project and Final MND (Decision D.14-01-007) and a Notice of Determination was submitted to the State Clearinghouse (SCH#2013082047). The mitigation measures and applicant-proposed measures (APMs) described in the Final MND were adopted by the CPUC as conditions of project approvals.

Construction and Mitigation Monitoring

Mitigation Monitoring, Compliance, and Reporting Plan. Following CPUC approval, a Mitigation Monitoring, Compliance, and Reporting Plan (MMCRP) was prepared to ensure compliance with applicant proposed measures (APMs) and mitigation measures approved in the Final IS/MND. The MMCRP provides guidelines and standardize procedures for environmental compliance during project implementation. The procedures were developed in coordination with PG&E and CPUC and describe the reporting relationships, the roles and responsibilities of the project's environmental compliance team members, compliance reporting procedures, and the communication protocol.

The MMCRP can be viewed here.

Notices to Proceed with Construction

As defined by the MMCRP, CPUC must issue a Notice to Proceed (NTP) before construction can start. PG&E will submit a formal request for an NTP. On projects where there may be multiple work packages or work sites, PG&E may elect to request separate NTPs. Each separate NTP request will be applicable to a defined segment or aspect of the Project. CPUC will review the NTP request and the applicable pre-construction requirements to ensure that all of the information required to process and approve the NTP is included. CPUC may request additional information or clarification as needed. Based on information provided in the request for an NTP and its review, CPUC will issue the NTP. NTPs issued by CPUC to date for the PG&E Embarcadero-Potrero Project are provided below.

Notices to Proceed
Date Requested
Date Issued
Site preparation and excavation of the proposed 230 kV Potrero Switchyard site.
Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) component of the Project on Spear St. and 23rd St.
Underground duct bank and vault installation component of the Project between HDD transition on Spear St. to the Embarcadero Substation on Folsom St. in the northern section, and between the HDD transition on 23rd Street to the Potrero Switchyard in the southern section.
Mod to #3
Trenching from the new Potrero Switchyard to the existing switchyard for the 230 kV/115 kV connections across the Trans Bay Cable (TBC).
Rock removal obstructing the path of the submarine cable component of the Project along the submarine cable line and off shore of Pier 50 in the San Francisco Bay.
Construction of 230 kV Potrero gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) building and cable tie-in component at Potrero Switchyard.
Site preparation for submarine cable installation, laying the cable, and pulling the cable to land at either end.

Construction began in September 2014. Weekly reports documenting construction and compliance activities can be viewed here.

Minor Project Changes

As defined by the MMCRP, at various times throughout project construction, minor changes to the project, such as the need for additional or revised workspace, are anticipated and common practice for construction efforts of this scale and a Minor Project Change request would be required for such activities. The CPUC Project Manager, along with the CPUC EMs, will implement the Minor Project Change procedures defined in the MMCRP to evaluate each proposed project change for its potential for creating significant environmental effects to determine whether supplemental CEQA review is required. Minor Project Changes processed to date are provided in the table below.

Minor Project Changes
Date Requested
Date Issued
Use of an existing staging and laydown yard adjacent to Alternate Staging Area #3 on Amador St. identified in MND.
Use of an existing staging and laydown yard two blocks from the Potrero Switchyard at 1215 Michigan Street

Environmental Review Process

PG&E filed a PEA with the Application on December 11, 2012. This document provided a starting point for the environmental review process conducted by the CPUC. PG&E's Application and PEA were deemed complete for review by the CPUC on January 10, 2013. The CPUC Energy Division reviewed PG&E's Application and PEA and prepared an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) as the appropriate CEQA document for this project.

Mitigated Negative Declaration Preparation

The CPUC released a Notice of Intent to Adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration for the proposed Embarcadero-Potrero 230 kV Transmission Project showing that the Proposed Project, as mitigated, would not have any significant effects on the environment. The Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration and Supporting Initial Study (IS/MND) was made available for public review and comment from August 13, 2013 to September 16, 2013.

The Draft IS/MND can be viewed here.

On October 29, 2013, the CPUC released a Final Mitigated Negative Declaration showing that the proposed Embarcadero-Potrero 230 kV Transmission Project, as mitigated, would not have any significant effects on the environment. The Final IS/MND details the Proposed Project, evaluates and describes its potential environmental impacts, identifies those impacts that could be significant, and presents mitigation measures to avoid or minimize these impacts.

The Final IS/MND can be viewed here.

For Additional Information

To request additional information, please contact the CPUC, as follows:

Billie Blanchard
California Public Utilities Commission
c/o Aspen Environmental Group
235 Montgomery Street, Suite 935
San Francisco, CA 94104

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