WAPA, Duke-American Transmission Co. move on California power line project
Duke-American Transmission Co., the Western Area Power Administration, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, and the Bureau of Reclamation announced plans to move forward on the San Luis Transmission Project, which is designed to enhance electric service to the San Joaquin Valley in California, according to a statement.
The project involves building a new 85-mile, 230-kV transmission line from WAPA’s substation in Tracy to the San Luis, O’Neill and Dos Amigos substations in the Los Banos area, the statement noted, adding that the route will parallel existing transmission facilities through non-irrigated ranch land.
The project, which is fully permitted, will provide electricity for the economical and reliable delivery of federal water supplies to Central Valley and Bay Area residents, businesses, and farms, the statement noted.
According to the project’s website, the project has completed all necessary environmental review and compliance under NEPA and the California Environmental Quality Act. A preferred route for the project has been determined, the site noted.
A San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority spokesperson on Feb. 1 told TransmissionHub that the project is largely designed, and that the current project cost estimate is $323.5 million, but that estimate continues to be refined.
A WAPA spokesperson on Feb. 1 told TransmissionHub that construction on the project is expected to begin in spring 2021, and that the project is expected to be in service in summer 2023.
WAPA is the lead federal agency for the project, developing it for the Bureau of Reclamation and its San Luis Unit of the Central Valley Project, according to the statement, which also noted that WAPA is legally required to provide electric transmission service to Reclamation and its customers.
WAPA’s previous transmission contract with Pacific Gas and Electric for the delivery of San Luis Unit power at the federal Central Valley Project expired in 2016, and Reclamation requested that WAPA develop a new transmission service arrangement to replace the expiring contract, according to the statement.
“This public-private partnership maximizes the benefits of building critical energy infrastructure while simultaneously meeting the electricity needs of extremely important agricultural and water customers responsible for the majority of U.S. produce production,” WAPA Administrator and CEO Mark Gabriel said in the statement.
Randy Satterfield, president of DATC, said in the statement: “Public-private partnerships can provide advantages in critical, regionally significant infrastructure projects, such as the San Luis Transmission Project. In this partnership, DATC’s transmission expertise will benefit public stakeholders as they secure a predictable, reliable transmission connection to support the water and power needs of the Central Valley.”