North Coast Solar Stocks

November 20, 2009

California utility wins OK for more transmission

Filed under: EIX, FSLR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 6:21 pm

Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:21pm EST

* California regulatory agency clears application

* Southern California Edison to build 150-mile line

* When completed, line to move 1.2 gigawatt of power

LOS ANGELES, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Southern California could gain more transmission capacity — needed to accommodate electricity from renewable resources — after a project by utility Southern California Edison won approval from a key state agency on Friday.

The California Public Utilities Commission cleared the utility’s proposal for the $537 million, 150-mile project, called the Devers Palo Verde2 line, the utility said in a statement.

Southern California Edison, a part of Edison International (EIX), modified its original 270-mile Devers Palo Verde proposal earlier this year after Arizona utility regulators rejected construction of the line in that state, saying they did not want to export additional power to California.

When completed in 2013, the project is expected to move an extra 1.2 gigawatts of power from Riverside County to energy customers in Southern California.

The 128-mile, 500-kilovolt line will connect SCE’s Devers substation near Palm Springs to a proposed Midpoint switchyard near Blythe, California. SCE also will build a 42-mile, 500-kv line between the Devers substation and its Valley substation in Riverside County.

The project will relieve transmission congestion in an area identified by federal agencies and could help move more electricity generated by solar and other renewable energy resources in the future, the utility said in a statement.

California has the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the United States, with a target to get a third of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.

A major hurdle, however, is a lack of transmission lines needed to move electricity from remote areas where solar, wind and other renewable power is produced, to cities where it is consumed.

In August SCE and U.S. solar leader First Solar Inc (FSLR) announced plans for two photovoltaic solar projects for a total of 550 megawatts in the California counties of Riverside and San Bernardino.

Arizona-based First Solar is one of the world’s largest producers of photovoltaic cells, which turn sunlight into electricity.

The SCE’s transmission line is also subject to approval of the California Independent System Operator.

(Reporting by Laura Isensee and Eileen O’Grady; Editing by Christian Wiessner)

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