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The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Board of Water and Power Commissioners has approved the final environmental document required to expand a power transmission line necessary to access renewable energy resources from the Tehachapi Mountains and Mojave Desert areas.

According to LADWP, the board's certification of the final environmental impact report paves the way for building the Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project (BRRTP), which will cross Kern and Los Angeles counties.

The BRRTP will provide up to 2 GW of additional power transmission capacity to access vital wind and solar resources necessary for LADWP to meet California’s 33% by 2020 renewable portfolio standard.

“We are working diligently to develop new large-scale solar projects in the High Desert, but it’s not enough to only build renewables - we have to be able to bring that energy home. And that’s what this project will allow us to do,” says Ronald O. Nichols, LADWP’s general manager.

The BRRTP will span approximately 75 miles from the Mojave Desert in Kern County south to the San Fernando Valley. Part of the transmission project includes a new 12-mile section of line to be installed on existing structures from Haskell Canyon west to the Castaic Power Plant, a pumped-storage generating facility situated on Castaic Lake.

Key components of the project include the following:

  • Expanding the existing Barren Ridge Switching Station, located about 15 miles north of Mojave;
  • Building a new switching station in Haskell Canyon, located just north of Santa Clarita;
  • Constructing a new 230 kV transmission line from the Barren Ridge Switching Station to the proposed Haskell Canyon Switching Station;
  • Installing a 12-mile, 230 kV line on existing structures from Haskell Canyon to the Castaic Power Plant; and
  • Installing larger-capacity conductors between the Barren Ridge Switching Station and the Rinaldi Substation.

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