Friday, August 14, 2009

Power Line Problems Loom Large

The state is trying to get out in front of the environmentalist and NIMBY opposition that is sure to come when it tries to build out new power lines necessary to transmit all of the new electricity generated from contmeplated renewable projects.

A consortium called the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative, which consists of state agencies, utilities, and developers has come together to study the problem and make siting recommendations. The San Francisco Chornicle reports that the consortium's report issued this week looks at:

"...where transmission lines are needed most, will cost the least and will cause the least harm to the environment. It doesn't recommend exact routes, nor does it specify how many lines must be built.

Instead, it presents options, suggesting broad pathways for lines that can link planned renewable power projects to the grid. Most of the proposed lines are in the Southern California desert, while one stretches to the Oregon border. "

The Chronicle also notes that, "Together, those places could generate as much as 77,526 megawatts of electricity, more than all of California uses on a typical summer day. A megawatt is a snapshot figure, representing the amount of electricity flowing across the grid in an instant, and 1 megawatt is enough to power 750 homes."