BLM reviews grid project to aid California solar development

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said in a notice to be published in the Aug. 4 Federal Register that it will write an environmental reviews on a Southern California Edison transmission project that is needed to support a 275-MW solar project.

BLM’s Barstow Field Office intends to prepare an amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan with a joint environmental impact statement (EIS) and environmental impact report (EIR) in cooperation with the California Public Utilities Commission in order to analyze Southern California Edison’s proposal for the Coolwater-to-Lugo Transmission Line Project in San Bernardino County. The Aug. 4 notice announces the beginning of the scoping process to solicit public comments and identify issues to be covered in these documents.

Southern California Edison (SCE) is proposing a new high-voltage (220/500-kV) transmission line extending 64 miles from SCE’s existing Coolwater Generation Station Switchyard located in Daggett, Calif., to SCE’s existing Lugo Substation in Hesperia, Calif.

This new line would traverse 16 miles of public lands managed by the BLM, with the remainder on private or other lands within San Bernardino County. Approximately 47 miles of the transmission line would parallel or be within existing overhead utility rights-of-way (ROWs) and designated transmission corridors with the remaining 17 miles requiring a plan amendment to the CDCA plan to designate a new transmission line corridor.

This project is needed to ensure that power from the nearly-completed, 275-MW Mojave Solar Project is delivered to population centers in Southern California, BLM noted. The line is designed with additional capacity to facilitate the interconnection of future renewable energy projects that are expected to be developed in the region, the agency added.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.