March 15, 2007
New lines eventually could tap enough renewable energy to power almost three million California homes.
ROSEMEAD, Calif., March 15, 2007— The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today approved Southern California Edison’s (SCE) application to build segments 2 and 3 of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project.
When all phases are developed, the Tehachapi project will include a series of new and upgraded high-voltage transmission lines capable of delivering 4,500* megawatts (MW) of electricity from wind farms and other generating companies that are proposed for northern Los Angeles and eastern Kern counties.
SCE has proposed constructing the Tehachapi project in 11 segments to coincide with the development of independently owned wind farms. Segment 1 was approved by the CPUC on March 1 and is pending approval by the U.S. Forest Service. Segments 2 and 3 include five components: a new 21-mile, 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission line connecting SCE’s existing Antelope and Vincent substations, two new substations to be named Windhub and Highwind, located near Mojave and Monolith, a new, 25.6-mile, 500 kV transmission line connecting SCE’s existing Antelope Substation with the proposed Windhub Substation, and a new, 9.6-mile, 220 kV transmission line connecting Windhub Substation with Highwind Substation. The new lines are expected to be operational in early 2009. SCE will file an application next June to build the remaining segments.
“The Tehachapi project will strengthen and enhance SCE’s transmission system by creating a new path for renewable energy to meet the increasing electricity demand of Southern California,” said Ron Litzinger, SCE senior vice president of transmission and distribution.
Litzinger said that this favorable decision is an important step in SCE’s efforts to deliver electricity from wind farms in eastern Kern County in support of meeting California’s greenhouse-gas reduction and renewable energy procurement goals.
The Tehachapi project is part of SCE’s five-year, $4.3-billion transmission expansion program designed to ensure that Southern California has the robust power delivery system needed by a growing region.
- On Monday, SCE launched its 2007 open, competitive solicitation for additional renewable power contracts, its fifth solicitation since 2002. Previous solicitations have secured for SCE customers 25 renewable energy contracts with the potential of generating 13 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), enough electricity to serve approximately 1.9 million average homes for a year. The actual output of renewable energy projects may be limited due to weather conditions and transmission availability.
- Last week, SCE announced that its 2006 renewable energy purchases and deliveries to customers once again led the nation:
SCE delivered 12.6 billion kWh of renewable energy during 2006, 16.7% of total power deliveries under California’s renewable portfolio standard guidelines.
SCE delivered enough renewable energy in 2006 to serve 1.8 million homes for the entire year.
Energy Sources Billions of kWh Delivered
Small hydro 0.95
- Last December, SCE signed a 1,500-MW wind contract, the largest in U.S. renewable history, with Alta Windpower that relies on development of the full Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project. Today’s commission approval is an important first step in assuring this and other Tehachapi contracts result in viable renewable energy projects.
*One MW is enough power to serve approximately 650 average homes. However, the actual output of wind energy projects may be limited due to weather conditions.
**Gases from landfills and digesters
***Solids such as agricultural and wood waste
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An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.7 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.