When it unveiled its Sunrise Powerlink project three years ago, San Diego County's electric utility warned that rolling blackouts like those that swept California during the 2000-01 electricity crisis could return to the region in 2010 without the new power line.
Now, because of state delays in evaluating the $1.5 billion project, that high-voltage transmission line ---- even if it is eventually approved ---- won't be available to help meet the county's peak summer demand for electricity in either 2010 or 2011, utility officials say. ...Bill Powers, an activist and engineer from San Diego who has been fighting Sunrise, maintains there is another option: Ship the power west via an existing line in Baja California and north on wires that connect Tijuana with San Diego.
"You've got a lot of options here that don't necessarily involve building any new transmission," Powers said.
The Kern County Board of Supervisors is set to consider plans for a 5,800-acre wind farm designed to provide electricity to 90,000 homes.
Officials with the PdV Wind Energy Project say that between 100 and 300 turbines would generate electricity to be supplied to Southern California Edison.
Forests of turbines march up the foothills west of Mojave into the Tehachapi Mountains, turbines that take Valley winds and turn them into electricity.
The power produced by these wind farms and their planned expansion is the basis for Southern California Edison’s proposed Antelope Transmission Line. The high-voltage electric transmission line will deliver this electricity for use elsewhere in Southern California.
The proposed transmission line will help Edison meet the state-legislated requirement of 20% of its electrical power created by renewable sources and will allow for further expansion of the wind industry in eastern Kern County.
The Bureau of Land Management is currently processing two dozen applications for wind and solar projects in the eastern Kern desert. Meanwhile, the Kern County Planning Department has received applications for wind and solar as well as a biogas pipeline and sludge-to-energy plant. ...Kern's wind farms now generate 710 megawatts of wind energy, but that's expected to grow by an additional 4,500 megawatts in the next decade due to the ongoing construction of Southern California Edison's Tehachapi Transmission line project.
The first phase of a $1.85 billion high-voltage transmission system necessary for the development of one of the biggest collection of wind farms in the United States goes to the California Independent System Operator board on Jan. 25, the grid operator said on Friday.
The Cal ISO staff recently recommended to the ISO board that it approve the project.
“The project goes a long way to helping us green the grid,” said Cal ISO spokeswoman Stephanie McCorkle.
After watching and learning from the year-long process of approving new wind turbines in the Montezuma Hills, one county supervisor will ask Tuesday for a temporary ban on such projects.
Supervisor Barbara Kondylis will present the issue at Tuesday's Solano County supervisors meeting. The discussion comes after the Planning Commission recently approved 75 new wind turbines in an area east of Travis Air Force Base. ...Now, Kondylis wants to see the approval of similar projects stopped until the kinks of the new radar system are worked out.
"I really think it's time for us to stop and give Travis a chance to get their radar in place," she said. "Hopefully they will be able to resolve the problem.