Blythe Transmission Line
99-AFC-8C (Compliance Proceeding)
Project Status: Complete; In Compliance Phase
Committee that oversaw Original Licensing Proceeding:
John L. Geesman, Commissioner, Presiding Member
James D. Boyd, Commissioner, Associate Member
Hearing Officer: Vice Chair
Title: Blythe Energy Project Transmission Line Modifications
Owner: Blythe Energy LLC
Blythe Energy LLC, ("Blythe Energy"), is proposing transmission line modifications that would allow electrical output from the Blythe Energy Project (BEP) to be delivered to the southern California ISO-controlled electrical transmission system. Blythe Energy is the owner of the, a 520-megawatt (MW) natural gas fired electric-generating facility situated within the City of Blythe, California. In 2001, the California Energy Commission approved the Blythe Energy Application for Certification (99-AFC-8) for the BEP subject to which Blythe Energy constructed and operates the facility. The BEP commenced commercial operation in 2003.
The proposed transmission line modifications are for the sole purpose of improving the long-term transmission paths available for delivery of the BEP electrical output to the southern California CISO-controlled electrical transmission system, referred to as "SP-15." The proposed transmission line modifications would also serve to relieve transmission congestion and provide needed energy supplies in southern California in the coming years.
Description Of Proposed Modifications
There are two distinct components to the proposed BEP transmission line modifications:
Buck to Julian Hinds Transmission Line Component:
- Upgrades to Buck Substation.
- Installation of approximately 67.4 miles of new 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line between the Buck Substation located adjacent to the BEP and the Julian Hinds Substation located approximately sixty miles to the west.
- The proposed transmission line route would generally follow Southern California Edison's (SCE's) existing 500 kV Devers-Palo Verde ("D-PV") transmission line.
- Transmission line structures would be concrete, single-pole structures.
- Upgrades to the Julian Hinds Substation.
Buck to Devers-Palo Verde Transmission Line Component:
- Upgrades to Buck Substation.
- Installation of approximately 6.7 miles of a new 230 kV transmission line (initially operated at 161 kV) between the Buck Substation and SCE's existing D-PV 500 kV transmission line.
- Transmission line structures would be concrete single-pole structures.
- Construction of a new 161 kV to 500 kV substation ("Midpoint Substation") at the point of interconnection with SCE's existing D-PV 500 kV transmission line.
Because the path ratings for each of the proposed transmission line components will not be established at the time of Energy Commission review and final decision on Blythe Energy's petition, Blythe Energy is requesting approval of each transmission component path described as part of the project modifications identified herein. It is Blythe Energy's expectation that it may be necessary to ultimately build both components to deliver the facility's full output to customers in California.
Location Of Proposed Modifications
The proposed modifications would be located entirely within Riverside County, between the Buck Substation near the City of Blythe and the Julian Hinds Substation near Hayfield as illustrated in Figure 3.1-1. For most of its length, the Buck to Julian Hinds transmission line component would be located adjacent to the existing SCE D-PV 500 kV line as illustrated in Figure 3.1-2. The Buck to D-PV component would be located adjacent to an existing Imperial Irrigation District (IID) 161 kV transmission line with a new substation to be located adjacent to SCE's existing D-PV transmission line as illustrated in Figure 3.1-3
Along most of its length, the Buck to Julian Hinds transmission line would be located within a 95 foot right-of-way adjacent to and north of the existing SCE Devers-Palo Verde right-of-way as illustrated in the figure below. The existing D-PV right-of-way on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands is 260 feet in width (wide enough to accommodate SCE plans for a second D-PV transmission line); therefore, an additional right-of-way of 95 feet in width adjacent to the existing D-PV right-of-way would be required.
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