U.S. utility Southern California Edison (SCE) plans to purchase more than 2.5 million acres in northern California for its California power grid, the largest such purchase in the U.K. in the last 10 years, according to a company filing.
The utility plans on using the land to build a power plant in a former steel plant in San Bernardino County, and will add more than 3,000 new homes to the area, according the filing.
It will also purchase an additional 2.7 million acres near San Bernardino to expand its distribution network, which currently consists of more than 700,000 homes, the filing said.
Southern California Edison is a subsidiary of Southern Company, which also owns the Los Angeles Gas & Electric (LA Gas) and Orange County Gas & Electric (OC&E).
The utility is a major buyer of coal, natural gas and nuclear energy and has a long-term commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
It has long considered expanding its energy infrastructure in the region, but has yet to build an entirely new transmission line to connect it to the rest of the country.
It is also building a transmission line in the San Bernardino-Orange County area to supply gas to Southern California customers.
The purchase comes amid a nationwide push by environmentalists and renewable energy companies to secure and build power lines in the Northern and Central Valley.
Southern Company’s California portfolio includes the transmission lines that connect Southern California to the San Diego-Carlsbad metropolitan area.