April 7, 2008
LADWP LAUNCHES ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY
OF TRANSMISSION PROJECT TO ACCESS RENEWABLE ENERGY IN TEHACHAPI/MOJAVE AREA
LOS ANGELES -Demonstrating its environmental leadership and commitment to providing , clean, renewable energy to Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) today launched the environmental review process to develop a transmission project that will access a rich supply of wind, solar and other renewable resources in the Tehachapi Mountains and Mojave Desert areas.
The proposed Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project (BRRTP) will expand capacity on an existing transmission corridor to deliver additional renewable energy resources located in Northern Los Angeles and Kern counties. In addition to accessing clean, renewable energy resources, the BRRTP will also enhance transmission capacity to serve the state’s growing population, improve transmission system reliability, diversify the energy supply, and maximize the capacity of LADWP’s existing transmission corridors.
“This proposed transmission system is absolutely critical to increasing the supply of green energy for Los Angeles as well as significantly reducing the City’s carbon footprint to counteract the effects of greenhouse gases on climate change,” said H. David Nahai, CEO & general manager of LADWP.
On Friday, April 4, the LADWP mailed a Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) as required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to a variety of agencies, elected officials, and Native American tribes who have regulatory authority or interest in the project. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service published the corresponding document, required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), today in the Federal Register.
Issuing these documents started the clock on a 30-day public review period for regulatory agencies, elected officials and citizens to provide preliminary comments for consideration in preparing the Draft Environmental Impact Report. Along with the formal notifications, LADWP, BLM and the Forest Service have mailed a project newsletter to some 6,000 agencies, interested parties, and property owners living within a 1,000 feet the proposed transmission route and preliminary alternative routes.
The $233 million project, which is slated to be completed by 2013, is a critical element of LADWP’s plans to meet local and state mandates to reduce environmental impacts associated with climate change, and to increase the amount of renewable energy served to customers. These requirements include the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which caps greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels by 2020, as well as greenhouse gas reduction and Renewable Portfolio Standard goals established by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The Mayor’s aggressive climate action goals call for reducing the City’s greenhouse gas emissions to 35 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and increasing the supply of renewable energy to 20 percent by 2010 and 35 percent by 2020.
“While the renewable energy conveyed through this proposed transmission system will directly serve the 4 million residents of Los Angeles, all of California stands to benefit by the reduction of fossil fuels that will be replaced by clean wind and solar energy,” said V. John White, executive director of the Center for Energy and Renewable Technology. “We look forward to the environmental review process to determine the route that will have the least environmental impacts.”
Once in service, the BRRTP will access LADWP’s 120-megawatt Pine Tree Wind Project, which broke ground earlier this year and is expected to be the largest municipally owned wind farm in the U.S. The line will also access several other wind and solar projects in the Tehachapi Mountains and Mojave Desert that are now in various stages of planning and development. Altogether, LADWP is developing about 1,000 megawatts of wind, solar and other renewable resources that will be available in the next several years.
“This region will be a hub of clean, renewable energy that will provide the vital resources for displacing power generated by carbon-based fuel,” said Nick Patsaouras, president of the LADWP Board of Commissioners. “And the Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project will provide the necessary capacity to link to these vital resources to Los Angeles.”
As proposed, the BRRTP will span about 75 miles from the Mojave Desert south to the San Fernando Valley. The project involves construction of a new 60-mile, 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line from the new Barren Ridge Switching Station, located about 15 miles north of Mojave, to the proposed Haskell Canyon Switching Station that will be built just north of Santa Clarita and south of the Angeles National Forest. A second component is to install a 12-mile, 230 kV line on existing structures from Haskell Canyon to the Castaic Power Plant, a “pump-storage” generating facility where renewable energy can be stored and then generated when most needed.
A third component is to expand capacity and improve reliability of the existing Owens Gorge-Rinaldi Transmission Line that currently supplies power from small hydroelectric plants in the Owens Gorge to Los Angeles. By expanding the capacity of this line, LADWP will be maximizing existing transmission.
The LADWP, BLM and Forest Service plan to conduct extensive public outreach about the project as it moves forward. Toward that end, the agencies have scheduled seven public scoping meetings from April 22 through May 1 in various communities within the project area.
“We believe that public outreach is a significant ingredient in creating a successful project,” Patsaouras said. “LADWP is committed to establishing and maintaining open lines of communication, transparency, and fostering a cooperative spirit among all involved.”
MEETING DATES AND LOCATIONS
All meetings will include an Open House from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and brief presentation at 7 p.m. followed by a question-answer session.
|April 22, 2008
Santa Clarita Activity Center
20880 Centre Point Parkway
Santa Clarita, CA
|April 29, 2008
Frazier Mountain High School
700 Falcon Way
|April 23, 2008
Agua Dulce Women’s Club
33201 Agua Dulce Canyon
Agua Dulce, CA
|April 30, 2008
40525 Peonza Lane
|April 24, 2008
Castaic Middle School
28900 Hillcrest Parkway
|May 1, 2008
California City Middle School
9736 Redwood Blvd
California City, CA
|April 28, 2008
Hughes-Elizabeth Lakes Union School
16633 Elizabeth Lake Road
Lake Hughes, CA
For more information about the BRRTP or the public scoping meetings, please call 877-440-3592 or visit www.ladwp.com/barrenridge.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was established more than 100 years ago to provide a reliable and safe water and electric supply to the City of Los Angeles residents and businesses. The LADWP serves approximately 1.4 million electric customers and 680,000 water service customers. For more information, log on to http://www.ladwp.com/.