Policy & Politics accione

Published on November 29th, 2009 | by Susan Kraemer

6

California Solar Power Transmission Line Approved at Thanksgiving

November 29th, 2009 by  

On Friday the California Public Utilities Commission approved a new 500 Kilovolt transmission line from desert areas deep in southeastern California where numerous solar projects have been signed, to urban centers on the coast.

As originally submitted the line was to have also carried electrons from sunny Arizona deserts too, but the project is having to moving forward without its neighbor. Arizona officials were concerned their state could become an “energy farm” for California, using up Arizona’s resources and costing the state’s rate-payers.

Even just the California portion could help bring many of the backlog of solar projects in our desert onto the grid, now that there is the transmission that they need.

The Devers-Palo Verde No. 2 line was first submitted in 2005. The $537 million, 500 Kilovolt line would span 170 miles in two segments across Southern California — 128 miles along Interstate 10 from North Palm Springs to Blythe, and 42 miles from Romoland to North Palm Springs.

Because it will travel the whole way next to existing power lines and follow the path of Interstate 10 for most of its route, it gets mainstream environmental approval from the NRDC and the Sierra Club.

“There is ample opportunity to site new solar projects on degraded or disturbed lands in the eastern Riverside County area.” says Barbara Boyle, the Senior Western Representative of the Sierra Club.” By concentrating our development footprint, we can minimize impacts on California’s cherished wildlife and recreation resources.”

Projects that might feed into this grid could finally start moving. This month, The Bureau of Land Management just began review of two in the area: the 250 MW NextEra Ford Dry Lake in Riverside County and Solar Millennium: two solar thermal parabolic trough plants totaling 1,452 MW.

While over 10 GW (10,000 MW) of solar thermal projects have signed contracts with utilities, only a 50 MW hybrid (with natural gas) has been approved. Jonathan Marshall of PG&E told me last week that as well, Brightsource’s Ivanpah has been approved by the CPUC (recent filing), bringing the approved projects to 450 MW.

Powerful fossil-funded groups like the astroturf group The Pacific Foundation and the The Heartland Institute (remember 400 skeptics?) with funding from oil companies and the Koch Foundation, are arrayed against solar.

Local groups, like Basin and Range Watch do not want solar in the desert. Some of these groups believe that city rooftop solar will be enough. (They haven’t spent 6 months trying to persuade people to go solar, as I have! The experience made me really look with fresh eyes at the huge advantage of utility-scale solar to get emissions down fast. Far too few individuals have all three of the necessary ingredients: enough interest, enough roof, enough credit)

Final approval comes down to local officials like  this district supervisor who comment on local environmental reports and decide whether any solar project will be built in the end.

Only 450 MW of the 10 GW of solar projects that utilities have signed contracts for have been approved, while about 25 GW of natural gas plants have gotten approval in California since 2000.

“This is a big step forward for meeting California’s goals to power our homes and businesses with properly sited renewable energy,” says Barbara Boyle, the Senior Western Representative of the Sierra Club.

Utility-scale solar will lower carbon emissions with minor impact on wildlife and natural resources, that will be far more damaged by climate change; if we keep approving gas plants instead.

Image: Accione Solar

Source: Energy Daily 
 
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
 
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



  • Susan Kraemer

    @Jeff – Sorry, meant trying to get solar roofs put up by selling solar, not putting up just one on your own home. Will clarify.

    “Some of these groups believe that city rooftop solar will be enough. (They haven’t spent 6 months trying”

  • Susan Kraemer

    @Jeff – Sorry, meant trying to get solar roofs put up by selling solar, not putting up just one on your own home. Will clarify.

    “Some of these groups believe that city rooftop solar will be enough. (They haven’t spent 6 months trying”

  • Jeff Sanches

    This is an interesting story. Though, uh, I do wonder how you know that these local groups haven’t tried to put solar on their own homes?

  • Jeff Sanches

    This is an interesting story. Though, uh, I do wonder how you know that these local groups haven’t tried to put solar on their own homes?

  • We are interested in building Transmission lines for Wind Power ,Tidal,Solar ,Hydro Power Transmission lines

    We can design and supply Towers at lowest ever price .

    Pl contact us

    Hans

  • We are interested in building Transmission lines for Wind Power ,Tidal,Solar ,Hydro Power Transmission lines

    We can design and supply Towers at lowest ever price .

    Pl contact us

    Hans

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

    cost-of-solar-down
  • Search the IM Network


Shares