The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has ordered Southern California Edison (SCE) to stop construction work on segments 4-11 of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project (TRTP).
The TRTP is designed specifically to access multiple renewable energy generation sources and will feature lines capable of delivering 4.5 GW of electricity from the wind-rich Tehachapi region in Kern County to Southern California.
The CPUC approved SCE's application to build these segments in December 2009, and the city of Chino Hills subsequently filed an application for rehearing of that decision in January 2010, saying that the selection of the route adversely affected the city and is inconsistent with the California Environmental Quality Act.
The filing of the application did not stay the decision, so SCE went ahead with construction. As of October, transmission poles and towers have been erected, according to the City of Chino.
The CPUC determined that it is now appropriate to ‘preserve the status quo,’ pending resolution of Chino Hills' application for rehearing. The stop-work order is in effect until the CPUC's resolution of the application for rehearing, unless the CPUC subsequently chooses to modify the stay.
TRTP segments 4-11 include new and upgraded electric transmission lines and substations between eastern Kern County and San Bernardino County. These segments were originally anticipated to be complete in 2015, according to SCE. It is unknown how the CPUC's stop order will affect the project's timeline.
The first phase of the project, TRTP segments 1-3, was approved by the CPUC in March 2007, and construction of those portions began in 2008. Segments 1, 2 and 3A were finished in 2009, and segment 3B was completed this year.
The CPUC separately ordered SCE to prepare alternatives to replace the approved design and route through Chino Hills, including details about the feasibility, cost and timing for each alternative.