DC Intertie Not Big Enough for Coal and Renewables, SF Says

By Published On: June 18, 2005

San Francisco voted June 14 to oppose Sempra?s proposed coal plant in Gerlach, Nevada. The city is studying the feasibility of tapping into the Pacific DC Intertie in northern Nevada to bring ?significant quantities of renewable energy to California.? San Francisco maintains that there?s room on that line for either coal power or renewables?but not both. The California Energy Commission awarded San Francisco a $311,000 grant in October 2002 through the city?s Hetch Hetchy water department to study the feasibility of tapping into the DC line, according to a commission spokesperson. ?More coal-fired power plants are not the solution,? said Aaron Peskin, San Francisco Board of Supervisors president, who carried the measure. His concerns include global warming and spoiling Nevada?s Black Rock Desert Wilderness. Sempra is ?disappointed? that the board would ?reject, symbolically, the Western region?s ability to access a stable, reliable, and affordable source of power,? said Art Larson, Sempra spokesperson. He disagreed that the intertie is an either/or proposition. The transmission infrastructure for the coal plant would include a transmission line sized for 250 MW more than the coal plant?s output. That, he said, could be used to bring ?some of the stranded renewable energy? from the region into California.

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