News Flash: Cal-ISO selects Imperial Irrigation District to build new policy-driven project

The Imperial Irrigation District (IID) has been selected by the California ISO (Cal-ISO) as the approved project sponsor to finance, own, construct, operate and maintain the IV Policy Element, a policy-driven transmission line and collector station in California’s Imperial Valley area, the ISO announced July 11.

The decision concludes Cal-ISO’s competitive solicitation process for the project.

The ISO approved IID after conducting a comparative analysis of the applications from IID and Abengoa Transmission & Distribution. The analysis assessed the degree to which each project sponsor met the qualification criteria under ISO tariff and evaluated each application on 13 criteria, Cal-ISO said in a statement announcing the selection.

The project consists of a 230-kV collector substation located approximately one mile north of the Imperial Valley substation and a 230-kV transmission line, less than a mile in length, connecting the collector substation to the IV substation. The transmission line and substation will not become network facilities that can be turned over to ISO operational control until IID completes its proposed upgrades to the IID El Centro to IV line and loops it into the new collector substation, Cal-ISO said in the sponsor selection report issued on the project.

Because the facilities are stand-alone facilities, and the ISO recognized that the IV Policy Element must be constructed by 2015 at the latest as generation projects in the area require that transmission facilities be in place in order to move forward with power purchase and interconnection agreement milestones, ISO management approved the IV Policy Element ahead of the 2012/2013 transmission plan approval.

Following ISO management approval, the ISO initiated an accelerated competitive solicitation process for this transmission element.

The $25m project will provide access to renewable generation in the Imperial Valley area and will assist in meeting the state’s standard of obtaining 33% of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2020.