SoCal Edison starts construction on large wind transmission project

Mojave, CA, Mar. 7, 2008 — Southern California Edison (SCE) has begun construction of what they say is the largest wind transmission project in the United States. When all phases are developed, the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project will include a series of new and upgraded high-voltage transmission lines capable of delivering 4,500 megawatts of electricity from wind farms and other generating companies in Northern Los Angeles and Eastern Kern counties. The Tehachapi project is part of SCE’s five-year, $5 billion transmission expansion program.

The first three segments include the following components: two new substations — Windhub and Highwind — located near Mojave and Monolith; a new, 25.6 mile, 500 kilovolt transmission line connecting SCE’s existing Antelope Substation with the new Windhub Substation; a new, 9.6 mile, 220 kilovolt transmission line connecting the Windhub Substation and the Highwind Substation; a new, 21.0-mile, 500 kilovolt transmission line connecting SCE’s existing Antelope and Vincent substations; and a new, 26.7-mile, 500 kilovolt transmission line connecting SCE’s existing Antelope and Pardee substations. The new lines are expected to be operational in early 2009.

The Tehachapi project is the first major transmission project in California being built specifically to access multiple renewable generators in a remote renewable-rich resource area, according to SoCal Edison. When complete, it will be part of a $1.8 billion program to provide the high-voltage transmission infrastructure necessary to interconnect and deliver the renewable wind resources being developed in the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area to California electricity customers.

Other phases of the project are in the regulatory and approval stage. The project, if completed in 2013 as proposed, would be capable of carrying 4,500 megawatts of electricity.

SoCal Edison said the Tehachapi project will provide other benefits, such as:

* Improving the reliability of the California transmission grid by enabling the expansion of the transfer capability of “Path 26,” an north/south transmission corridors;
* Serving the growth in energy demand in the Antelope Valley;
* Easing transmission constraints into the Los Angeles basin.

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