Major Renewable Energy Transmission Project Moves To Next Stage

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After more than three years of public outreach and education, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management have released the draft environmental documents required to expand a power transmission line that is needed to access renewable energy resources in the Tehachapi Mountains and Mojave Desert areas.

The proposed Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project (BRRTP) is expected to provide about 1,100 MW of additional power transmission capacity to access wind and solar resources that are necessary for the LADWP to meet California's 33% by 2020 renewable portfolio standard.

The $233 million BRRTP will accommodate new wind and solar projects in the Tehachapi Mountains and Mojave Desert that are in various stages of planning and development.

The BRRTP will span approximately 75 miles from the Mojave Desert in Kern County south to the San Fernando Valley. It will extend another 12 miles west to the Castaic Power Plant, a pumped-storage generating facility where renewable energy can be stored until needed to meet utility customer power needs.

Key components of the project include the following:

– expanding the existing Barren Ridge Switching Station, located about 15 miles north of Mojave;

– building a new switching station in Haskell Canyon, located just north of Santa Clarita;

– constructing a new 230 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; and

– installing larger-capacity conductors between the Barren Ridge Switching Station and Rinaldi Substation.

The Aug. 26 release of the draft environmental impact statement and environmental impact report kicked off a 60-day public review period that will run through Oct. 25.

The public will have opportunities to provide input and learn more about the project during a series of five public meetings, to be held on Sept. 20, 21, 27, 28 and 29.

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