Line Would be Built in Nationally Designated, Critically Congested Electrical Corridor
ROSEMEAD, Calif., May 16, 2008 — Southern California Edison (SCE) today submitted an “initial filing” to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting FERC initiation of a pre-filing process, which would include a preliminary environmental assessment and stakeholder and public input regarding the Devers-Palo Verde No. 2 Transmission Project.
Earlier this year, SCE initiated consultations with FERC concerning the project’s proposed 230-mile, high voltage electric transmission line between California and Arizona, parallel to SCE’s existing Devers-Palo Verde No. 1 line. SCE took this step in the interest of preserving all options for a successful project, given the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) decision last June rejecting the proposed transmission project.
Pedro J. Pizarro, SCE executive vice president for Power Operations, said that the utility will continue to pursue a new application with the ACC to build the Arizona portion of the proposed transmission project.
“SCE’s first priority and preference is to gain regulatory approval for the proposed transmission project from the ACC,” Pizarro said. “To support a new ACC filing, SCE is working with stakeholders, regional utilities and planning groups in Arizona to develop a mutually acceptable alternative plan to present to the ACC for approval of the project.”
Earlier this week, SCE filed a petition with the California Public Utilities Commission to modify its January 2007 approval of the project. SCE is seeking permission to start construction in California to satisfy interconnection requests for new renewable and conventional generation projects in the Southeastern part of the state for the benefit of the region. This effort should not, in any way, be interpreted as an indication that SCE prefers one portion of the line over another, as it is vital that the project is completed all the way to the Palo Verde hub in Arizona.
The proposed transmission project would provide significant regional economic benefits and allow neighboring states to access renewable energy sources, such as solar energy rich areas in California and Arizona. It would reduce energy congestion within a nationally designated, critical electricity corridor and help Western states satisfy their energy policy and environmental goals.
FERC has the authority to review and issue a permit for a transmission line project that has been denied by a state commission or other entity that has authority to approve facilities if the project is within a nationally designated critically congested electrical corridor. The Southwestern corridor between Arizona and Southern California has been deemed one of two nationally important, critically congested corridors in the country by the U.S. Department of Energy.
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Southern California Edison, an Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, is the largest electric utility in California. SCE serves a population of more than 13 million via 4.8 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.