Interior Department approves transmission line for Campo Verde solar project

Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior Ken Salazar on Sept. 27 approved the construction of a transmission line for First Solar’s 139 MW Campo Verde solar energy project.

The Campo Verde project is located on private lands in Southern California, but its transmission interconnection crosses public lands near El Centro, Calif., that are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Two alternate generation tie routes across BLM land were authorized, according to a BLM statement. The primary alternative is 0.9 miles, with 0.4 miles on public lands, and the secondary alternative is one mile, with 0.9 miles on public lands.

Power from Campo Verde will be transmitted to San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) Imperial Valley Substation.

BLM counts the Campo Verde Solar Project as part of a national initiative to expedite large-scale production of renewable energy on public lands. California’s current renewable portfolio standard requires that 33% of the state’s power supply come from renewables by 2020.

The Interior in August approved a section of transmission line for SDG&E’s East County substation project. The project will connect wind energy resources in San Diego and Imperial Counties, and in northern Mexico.