Duke-American Transmission Co., (DATC) on April 8 said that it will conduct an open solicitation process for up to 600 MW of bi-directional electric transmission capacity on the proposed 85-mile, 230-kV San Luis Transmission Project that is being developed in California’s San Joaquin Valley.
The project is a public-private partnership between Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), Bureau of Reclamation, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and DATC to economically provide electricity for federal water supply deliveries to water customers in the San Joaquin Valley and Bay Area, DATC said.
The new line is designed to connect WAPA’s substation in Tracy to the San Luis, O’Neill and Dos Amigos substations in the Los Banos area, paralleling existing transmission facilities through non-irrigated ranch land, the company said. The project will be part of WAPA’s Sierra-Nevada Region transmission system within the Balancing Authority of Northern California (BANC), offering transmission access to points of delivery adjacent to California ISO interties with WAPA/BANC, the company said.
DATC President Randy Satterfield said in the statement: “The San Joaquin Valley is rich in natural resources and clean energy opportunities but lacks a strong transmission grid to facilitate renewable energy development. This project will provide transmission access that will enable solar, storage and wind projects to be developed within and near the valley.”
The project has received the required permits as part of the National Environmental Policy Act process and is projected to be in service in 2023, according to DATC.
The company noted that it is financing the project in its entirety and will offer transmission capacity in accordance with the provisions of WAPA’s Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT). DATC said that it submitted a filing to FERC (ER19-1338) on March 15 to establish conditions for the capacity release, adding that the amount of capacity available will be contingent upon final determination of capacity needs to serve Reclamation.
DATC said that it will accept proposals for the available transmission capacity during the open solicitation window from 8 a.m., EST, on April 15 to 5 p.m., EST, on May 15.
As noted on the project’s website, WAPA will build, own, and operate the transmission facilities, providing service over the new line under the terms of the WAPA OATT. In return for its investment, DATC SLTP will enter into a 30-year transmission service agreement with WAPA, through which it will obtain transmission rights to the entire capacity of the SLTP, the site noted. Under a FERC-approved rate schedule, and utilizing the capacity release provisions of the WAPA OATT, DATC SLTP will release up to 600 MW of bidirectional transmission capacity, the site said.
DATC will use the open solicitation process to accept non-binding expressions of interest for SLTP capacity, according to the site, which also noted that upon conclusion of the open solicitation period, DATC will begin negotiations with selected parties. DATC SLTP will negotiate commercial terms with willing buyers, release the respective capacity rights, and buyers will become direct customers of WAPA, the site said.