LANCASTER – The City of Lancaster and the City of Pittsburg, California, along with support from Kern County, have partnered to form the High Desert Power Authority (HDPA), a Joint Powers Authority, for the purpose of creating independent transmission projects.
HDPA’s initial project is the Antelope Valley Clearview Transmission Project, which connects North Los Angeles County and East Kern projects into the statewide grid.
The AV Clearview Transmission Line is a high voltage underground transmission cable that will stretch nearly 40 miles across the Antelope Valley from Edwards Air Force Base to the Vincent-Lugo transmission line south of Highway 138. The line will include an above ground connection by way of Windhub and Kramer substation.
The Project will open extensive areas for future alternative energy development in Los Angeles, Kern and San Bernardino counties, while being capable of delivering more than 2,000 megawatts of renewable generation from the Antelope Valley and eastern Kern County.
“The AV Clearview Project is an opportunity to jumpstart economic development in the area,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “This project will provide hundreds of good jobs both on the transmission project and nearby solar projects that are currently waiting for transmission capacity, all in an environmentally sensitive way.”
The environmental review and permitting process for the project is expected to take approximately 15 months, with construction due to start in 2014. Completion of the project is slated for mid-2016, meeting the deadline mandated for wind and solar projects utilizing funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project is expected to go on-line by January 1, 2017. This accelerated schedule is essential to the solar and wind projects in the western Mojave Desert, which are depending on a new transmission line to secure financing for their projects.
“This project will bring new construction jobs to the region earlier than other transmission projects, while serving as a key tool to help federally-funded wind and solar energy projects come on-line by 2017,” said Kern County’s State Senator Michael J. Rubio (D-Shafter). “It is essential that the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) support this project, so that the state can achieve its 33% Renewables Portfolio Standard policy goals.”
The AV Clearview project is a private-public partnership between the HDPA and Critical Path Transmission, designers of the power line. Once completed, the project will enable the region to meet the State requirement that 33% of power come from a renewable energy source by 2020. In addition, the project will take advantage of the federal funding available through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruling in 2011 (FERC Order 1000), which opened up the transmission market to independent transmission projects.
The AV Clearview Project has been under development for three years. The HDPA is working with Edwards Air Force Base in selecting and appropriating a route for the line that will be beneficial to the mission of the base and the project.
Chairman of the Kern County Board of Supervisors, Zach Scrivner, notes that the project is “an important means to enable continued growth in the County’s development of wind and solar projects in the region.”
“The teamwork we’ve enjoyed with neighboring Edwards Air Force Base, Kern County and partner Pittsburg has been instrumental in getting this project underway. They share our vision and expertise to make the most of our Valley’s vast alternative energy resources and are eager to accomplish this task,” said City Manager Mark V. Bozigian.
The City of Pittsburg, through its municipal utility, the Pittsburg Power Company, brings a wealth of development and operational experience, most notably from its development of the Trans Bay Cable Project, a $500 million, 53-mile underwater transmission project which provides power to nearly half of the city of San Francisco.
Ben Johnson, Mayor of Pittsburg, called the AV Clearview Project “well-conceived and very timely,” noting that “the Project can be permitted and constructed years sooner than proposed transmission projects with much less environmental impact.”
“The AV Clearview Project is necessary for connecting the naturally abundant alternative energy resources throughout the Antelope Valley and Kern County to the power grid that feeds into the Los Angeles area. This transmission line will supply the connectivity essential for both existing and future alternative energy projects and move us one step closer to becoming the Alternative Energy Capital of the World,” concluded Mayor R. Rex Parris.
(Information via press release from the City of Lancaster.)
Read more about the AV Clearview Project at criticalpathtransmission.com–