Biden-Harris administration approves clean energy transmission project in Arizona and California that could cut costs for consumers
When: Thursday, July 14, 2022
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Yuma, Arizona. – The Biden-Harris administration today announced Interior Department approval for the construction of the Ten West Link transmission line project, which will facilitate the increased development and delivery of renewable energy in Arizona and California. The project represents another significant step in efforts to reduce consumer energy costs and modernize America’s electrical infrastructure in the West by allowing at least 25 gigawatts of solar, wind and geothermal generation on public lands by 2025.
The Ten West Link route passes through an area with one of the greatest potentials for large-scale solar photovoltaic development in the country. The project will provide critical transmission infrastructure to support the development of future utility-scale solar power resources and enhance mass power system reliability for millions of customers in central Arizona and southern California.
“The approval of this new transmission line on our public lands will accelerate our nation’s transition to a clean energy economy by unlocking renewable resources, creating jobs, reducing costs and boosting local economies,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Through strong engagement with states, cities and tribes, the Department of the Interior is committed to diversifying the nation’s renewable energy portfolio while addressing climate change and investing in communities. »
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) notice of suit authorizes Delaney Colorado River Transmission, LLC, to begin construction of the 125-mile, 500-kilovolt transmission line that will connect existing substations near Tonopah, Arizona, and Blythe, California.
“BLM Arizona has worked closely with various stakeholders and carefully considered their feedback to develop the best route possible,” said Ray Suazo, BLM Arizona State Manager. “Through this close collaboration, we have developed a route that will help meet the energy needs of our region while avoiding impacts to military preparedness and operations, local communities, popular recreation areas, the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and tribal lands.”
The Ten West Link transmission line is a FAST Act Title 41 (FAST-41) infrastructure project. Through the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council, the BLM coordinated the reviews with other agencies, including the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Council on Quality of environment, the Department of Defense (including the leadership of the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Grounds and Military Aviation and Installation Assurance Siting Clearinghouse), as well as tribal leaders and local communities, to make a timely project decision and enlightened.
The plan follows the Record of Decision based on the final 2019 Environmental Impact Statement and approved amendments to the BLM Yuma Field Office Resource Management Plan and California Desert Conservation Area Plan. The study of the scope of the project began in March 2016 and the draft environmental impact study was published in August 2018. The final environmental impact study analyzed several alternatives and selected a route of 125 miles from long primarily located within existing utility corridors or parallel to existing infrastructure. Additional information, including national environmental planning documents, is available on ePlanning on the Ten West Link webpage.
The BLM is currently processing 64 large-scale onshore clean energy projects proposed on public lands in the western United States. This includes solar, wind and geothermal projects, as well as gen-tie tie lines that are vital to proposed clean energy projects on non-federal lands. These projects have the combined potential to add more than 41,000 megawatts of renewable energy to the western power grid. The BLM is also undertaking the preliminary review of 90 solar and wind development applications, as well as 51 wind and solar test applications.
Today’s approval for the Ten West Link project follows recent approvals for construction of the Oberon, Arica and Victory Pass solar projects near Desert Center in eastern Riverside County. The Oberon Project will generate up to 500 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power approximately 146,000 homes, and includes 200 megawatts of battery storage. The Arica and Victory Pass projects will result in a combined infrastructure investment of approximately $689 million, generate $5.9 million in annual operational economic benefits, provide electricity to approximately 132,000 homes, and add up to 465 megawatts of clean power generation capacity and 400 megawatts of battery. storage.