The delivery of renewable and energy storage capacity from desert areas and eastern California to the demand centers in the state will be hugely enabled with the recent major upgrade to a utility’s massive transmission system.
Southern California reported that it has completed work on its West of Devers transmission lines. This project can facilitate the expected 7,000 MW in renewable and battery storage resources to be built in the desert and eastern regions of the state.
That zero-carbon electricity will be transmitted to the population centers of the Inland Empire and San Gabriel Valley regions, according to SCE.
“Completing the West of Devers Project is another giant step in our ability to deliver clean energy throughout our service area,” said Kevin Payne, SCE president and CEO. “While distributed energy resources like rooftop solar and battery energy storage will contribute to decarbonizing our electric infrastructure, large-scale generation and reliable delivery of renewable energy will be vital to achieve California’s ambitious climate goals.”
The project consisted of removing and replacing conductors and supporting structures of four separate circuits of 220-kiloVolt transmission lines through the existing 48-mile corridor from the Devers substation near Palm Springs to the Vista and San Bernardino substations in Grand Terrace and San Bernardino, respectively – about 200 miles of power lines.
It triples the capacity of power delivery from 1,600 MW to 4,800 MW, which helps with system reliability into the Southern California population centers during peak summer demand. It took many years of planning, siting, public engagement, licensing and construction to bring this project to fruition.
As part of the West of Devers Project, SCE entered into a transaction with Morongo Transmission for it to invest in the project, which allowed SCE to build the project across the Morongo Indian Reservation. The total cost of the project was $740 million, with Morongo Transmission expected to invest $400 million later this year (upon regulatory approval).