Rice Solar Energy, is proposing the Rice Solar Energy Project, a 150-megawatt solar project in Riverside County, Calif. RSE has requested to interconnect this project to Western’s power transmission system. Western and the Bureau of Land Management are cooperating in the preparation of an EIS for this interconnection request along with the California Energy Commission to satisfy NEPA requirements.
Western and the BLM will hold a public hearing on the draft EIS on January 5, 2011, in Palm Desert, Calif., with the public comment period closing on January 20, 2011.
Development of about 9,500 to 12,500 megawatts of transmission capacity is technically feasible according to the November 2010 Sonoran-Mojave Renewable Transmission Project, or SMRT, Preliminary Feasibility Study, released Dec. 8.
The study looked at a number of potential new transmission lines and upgrades to existing lines that would, if constructed, provide new transmission capacity in Arizona, California and Nevada primarily to support additional renewable resources, provide wholesale and retail markets with access to those resources and provide a more robust transmission grid.
The study was jointly developed and funded by a diverse group of energy interests that voluntarily band together to determine the technical feasibility of the lines and explore potential business arrangements to develop SMRT. With the preliminary study complete, the next steps will include soliciting interest in transmission service from renewable developers and other customers to assess SMRT’s economic viability.
The study report is also available on Western’s Recovery webpage at http://www.wapa.gov/recovery/planning.htm.