Los Angeles completes Barren Ridge project, a key grid pathway for renewables

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) held a Sept. 29 ceremony marking the completion of the Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project.

Consisting of 62 miles of double-circuit transmission line and construction of the 230-kV Haskell Switching Station, among other components, the Barren Ridge project will bring renewable wind and solar energy from projects in the Tehachapi Mountains and Mojave Desert areas home to Los Angeles.

Barren Ridge will provide customers access to approximately 1,000 MW of wind and solar power, which includes:

  • 250 MW from the Beacon solar project;
  • 60 MW from RE Cinco solar;
  • 250 MW from the Springbok 1 and 2 solar projects;
  • 143 MW from the Pine Tree solar and wind facility; and
  • hundreds of megawatts from several of LADWP’s hydroelectric plants from the north.

Barren Ridge will help Los Angeles meet local and state mandates to reduce environmental impacts associated with climate change and to increase the amount of renewable energy served to customers. LADWP said it must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and increase the supply of renewable energy – such as wind and solar power – to 33% by 2020 and 50% by 2030.

“LA is a leader in renewable energy, and implementing projects like the Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project is a priority for LA,” said LADWP General Manager David H. Wright. “Transforming our power supplies and meeting environmental mandates to help minimize the impacts of climate change are some of the reasons that we needed the recently-approved rate action. This project shows how that greatly benefits Los Angeles.”

In total, the $300 million transmission project consists of the following components:

  • Expansion of the existing Barren Ridge Switching Station located 12 miles north of Mojave, California;
  • Construction of the new Haskell Canyon Switching Station in Santa Clarita, California;
  • Construction of approximately 62 miles of a new double-circuit 230-kV transmission line from the Barren Ridge Switching Station to the Haskell Canyon Switching Station;
  • Reconductoring of approximately 76 miles of the existing 230 kV transmission line with larger capacity conductors between the Barren Ridge Switching Station and Rinaldi Receiving Station; and
  • The addition of approximately 12 miles of a new 230-kV circuit on the existing double-circuit structures from the Castaic Power Plant to Haskell Canyon Switching Station.

Construction of the Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Corridor project took over eight years to plan, design and construct with the contributions of 400 employees, contractors and other support personnel. The project erected 306 lattice towers and nine monopoles, and used approximately 16 million pounds of steel on towers.

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.