Western transmission planners\u2019 10-year blueprint estimates that more than one-fourth of the region\u2019s renewable growth by 2020 will come from California. Of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council\u2019s projected 59,000 MW of new renewable resources in the West, about 15,556 MW are expected to come from wind, solar, and geothermal resources in the Golden State over the next nine years. \u201cWe are all part of one grid and moving toward more efficient regional markets should enhance our ability to integrate more renewables at lower cost,\u201d Mike Picker, Gov. Jerry Brown\u2019s senior renewable advisor, stated in a letter to WECC\u2019s director of transmission expansion planning, Brad Nickell. Picker added that the \u201crelevance and usefulness\u201d of the plan will largely depend on \u201chow closely it reflects trends and results on the ground in western states and utilities.\u201d He asserts there will be more renewable resources in California than WECC estimates. Approximately 6,300 MW of renewable projects were permitted in California the last two years and an additional 49,775 MW are seeking permits, according to Picker. According to WECC\u2019s 10-year transmission plan, a surge in renewable resources arising from state mandates in and outside California is driving the need for 5,500 miles of new high voltage lines to add to the 75,000 miles of high voltage lines in 14 Western states, the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and Northern Baja California, Mexico. It is also leading to an \u201cincrease in utilization of ramping of conventional generation\u201d because of wind and solar energy projects\u2019 ebb and flow, states the 10-Year Regional Transmission Plan. An estimated $179 billion in new transmission projects are needed to accommodate alternative generation and population growth by 2020 in western North America. About 54 percent of that capital investment is expected to be in California. Included in those numbers are San Diego Gas & Electric\u2019s Sunrise Powerlink line, Southern California Edison\u2019s Tehachapi upgrades, and the Blythe-Devers line. Load in the West is estimated to increase 9 percent by 2020, with more demand in California because of a projected population increase of 31 million, concludes the Western Coordinating Council. WECC estimates there will be a total of 25,600 MW of new power resources in California by 2020. That is in addition to 37,359 MW of largely fossil generation expected to be online at the end of the decade. Currently, there is a total of 50,793 MW of generating capacity in the state. It\u2019s expected that 13,403 MW of power plant retirements will occur\u2014principally with the phase-out of coastal once-through water-cooled facilities. The plan highlights the need to upgrade high voltage lines running from California to Washington state\u2014the Pacific DC Intertie and California Oregon Intertie\u2014to accommodate increased flows of Northwestern wind and hydro resources. It estimates that up to 8,800 MW of new wind projects by 2020 are to be built in Oregon and Washington. California has imported surplus hydro from the Northwest for decades. California prefers \u201chydro generation over local, and more expensive, gas generation,\u201d the plan concludes. With the huge growth in Northwestern wind projects, the subsequent Bonneville Power Administration\u2019s curb of wind supplies in the face of excess generation set off a legal battle between the hydro and wind generators (Current, May 27, 2011). WECC\u2019s plan notes that regional generation and transmission planning is fraught with uncertainties arising from variables in economic conditions, energy efficiency, and new technologies\u2014including electric vehicles. The council points out its plan is \u201cinformational only,\u201d but aims to help regional planners, grid operators, utilities, and other stakeholders to work together and increase cooperation.