The California Public Utilities Commission has approved Southern California Edison’s application to build Segments 4-11 of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project (TRTP). It will be the first major transmission project in California built for the specific purpose of accessing multiple renewable generation sources in remote renewable-rich resource areas, an essential step for California to meet its renewable energy goals.

SCE already has started building the first three segments of TRTP, a series of new and upgraded high-voltage electric transmission lines to deliver electricity from new wind farms in the Tehachapi wind source area north of Los Angeles to customers and the California power grid. When all phases are developed, the TRTP will include transmission lines capable of delivering 4500 MW of electricity from wind farms and other generating companies in Northern Los Angeles and Eastern Kern counties, enough energy to supply nearly 3 million homes at peak output.

“This important CPUC decision will enable SCE to tap into additional supplies of clean wind energy to help improve the environment and reduce dependence on foreign sources of energy,” said Les Starck, SCE vice president, Local Public Affairs. “TRTP not only would facilitate the interconnection of new wind generation, but also will improve grid reliability to help meet the state’s growing demand for electricity from renewable resources.”

In addition to bringing significant wind energy resources to the California transmission grid, the Tehachapi project will provide many other meaningful benefits including:

  • Improving the reliability of the California transmission grid by enabling the expansion of the transfer capability of “Path 26,” one of the state’s most important north/south transmission corridors.
  • Serving the growth in energy demand in the Antelope Valley.
  • Easing transmission constraints into the Los Angeles basin.

Pending final approval from federal land agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, the project will begin in eastern Kern County and end in the city of Ontario in San Bernardino County. It will cross portions of the Antelope Valley, the Angeles National Forest, the San Gabriel Valley and the western Inland Empire. Construction of Segments 4-11 will begin in 2010, with the project becoming operational in 2014.

TRTP is a key component of SCE’s infrastructure improvement and expansion program that will ensure that California has the robust transmission system essential to a growing region.