WAPA, Utilities Planning Renewable Energy Transmission Project For Arizona

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Participants in the Western Area Power Administration's (WAPA) transmission infrastructure program and a group of electricity providers in Arizona say they plan to build a large-scale transmission project in Maricopa and Pinal counties.

Financed through WAPA's authority to borrow funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the project will increase transmission capacity to deliver renewable energy to consumers in Arizona, southern Nevada and southern California.

The Electrical District No. 5 – Palo Verde Hub (ED5-PVH) project will connect a renewable-rich zone south of Phoenix, with the Palo Verde market hub, a major electrical trading hub in the western U.S.

WAPA plans to borrow up to $91 million from the Treasury Department to complete the project. The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact were completed and signed in August, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

Upon expected completion in 2015, ED5-PVH will be able to deliver 254 MW of renewable energy to the Palo Verde market hub. In total, up to 410 MW of bidirectional capacity will be added to the grid.

The project, planned and developed in cooperation with current WAPA customers and other electricity providers, consists of two parts: purchasing transmission capacity rights on the 500 kV Southeast Valley project transmission line between WAPA's Test Track substation and the Palo Verde market; and building 45 miles of new 230 kV transmission line from the Test Track substation to WAPA's Electrical District No. 5 substation, located south of Phoenix.

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