LADWP Moves Forward with Transmission Project to Access Renewable Energy
Release of Draft Environmental Study Offers Opportunity for Additional Public Input
|LOS ANGELES — 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 critical power transmission line needed to access renewable energy resources in the Tehachapi Mountains and Mojave Desert areas.
The proposed Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project (BRRTP) will provide about 1,100 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 energy standard (RPS). The RPS requires electric utilities in California to provide at least one-third of their energy from renewable resources by 2020. The project will also help meet State legislation that requires reducing fossil fuel emissions associated with climate change.
“This project is absolutely critical to delivering additional renewable energy to Los Angeles,” said Ronald O. Nichols, LADWP General Manager. “World class renewable wind and solar energy are located right here in Southern California. The challenge is finding a viable transmission route to access it. We have worked hard to identify a route that addresses community and environmental concerns, while meeting our goal, and we believe we have found that route.”
The BRRTP is necessary to accommodate new wind and solar projects in the Tehachapi Mountains and Mojave Desert that are in various stages of planning and development, creating green jobs in the region. In addition to accessing clean, renewable energy resources, the $233 million project will also enhance transmission capacity to improve reliability and diversify the region’s energy supply.
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 “pump-storage” generating facility where renewable energy can be stored until needed to meet utility customer power needs.
Key components include:
LADWP is the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are co-leads under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The August 26 release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (DEIS/EIR) kicked off a 60-day public review period through October 25, 2011. The public will have opportunities to provide input and learn more about the project during a series of five public meetings to be held in September. The public may also review the studies online at www.ladwp.com/barrenridge. Physical copies are available at various public locations in Kern and Los Angeles Counties.
Below are the dates and locations for the public meetings. The format is an “open house” from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. followed by a formal presentation at 7:00 p.m.
For additional ways to submit comments, locations for viewing physical copies of the DEIS/EIR, the project map, and other information, please visit www.ladwp.com/barrenridge [or click the links below.]
The release of the BRRTP environmental documents marks an important milestone toward starting construction on the project by 2013 and bringing it into operation by 2016.