by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Sep 25, 2012
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Board of Water and Power Commissioners have approved the final environmental document required to expand a critical power transmission line that will enable LADWP to convey additional renewable energy resources from the Tehachapi Mountains and Mojave Desert areas to Los Angeles.
The Board's action certified the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR), and paves the way for building the Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project (BRRTP). Crossing Kern and Los Angeles Counties, the BRRTP will provide up to 2,000 megawatts of additional power transmission capacity to access vital wind and solar resources that are necessary for LADWP to meet the State-mandated 33 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 2020, and an interim target of 25% by 2016.
The project will also enable LADWP to meet the State's emissions reduction requirement and replace coal power in a cost-effective, sustainable manner. Additionally, the project will improve the reliability, diversity, and flexibility of the region's energy supply.
"Today we are taking a giant step along the path to expanding the amount of renewable energy we provide to customers and meeting our renewable targets," LADWP General Manager said Ronald O. Nichols. "We are working diligently to develop new large-scale solar projects in the High Desert, but it's not enough to only build renewables - we have to be able to bring that energy home. And that's what this project will allow us to do."
Nichols said that State and Federal legal mandates are driving a major transformation of LADWP's long-standing power supply. "LADWP developed its power resources over the past 100 years, and we will need to replace over 70% of it in the next 10 to 15 years to comply with legal mandates," he said. "These changes will greatly reduce our power generation emissions for a more environmentally sustainable power supply."
LADWP, as the lead agency for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), recommended approval of the proposed alignment described as Alternative 2, which is identified as the "environmentally superior alternative" consistent with CEQA guidelines in the Final EIR.
This route, which generally parallels LADWP's existing transmission lines, extends 76 miles from LADWP's existing Barren Ridge Switching Station, located on Highway 14 about 15 miles north of Mojave, Calif., south to the existing Rinaldi Substation in the San Fernando Valley.
LADWP uses its existing transmission in the vicinity of the proposed transmission project to convey up to 130 megawatts of wind power generated at Pine Tree Wind Farm in the Tehachapi Mountains-the largest municipally owned and operated wind farm in the nation-as well as hydropower generated along the Los Angeles Aqueduct in the Owens Valley.
The BRRTP will provide additional transmission capacity to accommodate renewables from several new large-scale solar projects, including an 8.5 megawatt solar array at the Pine Tree Wind Farm, that are in various stages of development.
Part of the transmission project includes a new 12-mile section of line to be installed on existing structures from Haskell Canyon west to the Castaic Power Plant, situated on Castaic Lake. Known as a "pumped storage" generating plant, the facility is an important piece of LADWP's ability to integrate renewables while maintaining power system reliability.
"We can use wind or solar power to produce energy that pumps water up to the reservoir and store it. Then we release the water and use it to generate hydropower when that electricity is needed in Los Angeles," explains Aram Benyamin, senior assistant general manager - power.
+ Building a new switching station in Haskell Canyon located just north of Santa Clarita
+ Constructing a new double circuit 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line from the Barren Ridge Switching Station to the proposed Haskell Canyon Switching Station
+ Installing a 12-mile, 230 kV line on existing structures from Haskell Canyon to the Castaic Power Plant
+ Installing larger capacity conductors between the Barren Ridge Switching Station and Rinaldi Substation
+ Construction: March 2013 - December 2016
+ Barren Ridge Switching Station: In service June 2015
+ Haskell Canyon Switching Station: In service October 2015
+ New Double Circuit Transmission Line: In service December 2016
+ Re-conductor existing and New Castaic Circuit: In service December 2016
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP)
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Prominent Nevada Policymakers Show Support for Geothermal
Reno NV (SPX) Sep 27, 2012
With the GEA Geothermal Energy Expo less than two weeks away, key Nevada policymakers have thrown their support behind the event and the state's geothermal industry. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Reno Mayor Bob Cashell each welcomed the GEA Expo to Reno and expressed their gratitude for an industry that has thrived in Nevada. In addition to Mayor Cashell's o ... read more
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