Overseer’s Undercurrent: LADWP Transmission

By Published On: May 25, 2007

In the May 11 column describing several transmission projects planned by California utilities, I inaccurately wrote that an upgrade of the Intermountain Power Plant line proposed by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power could be used to import more coal-based power. I further suggested that this might set up a confrontation with the California Energy Commission over new generation performance standards for municipal utility power purchases. (The standards were adopted this week; see story above.) LADWP instead will use its 56 percent share of increased capacity to accommodate imports of wind power under two recently signed contracts. According to general manager Randy Howard, 82 MW of Wyoming wind produced by PPM Energy at the Pleasant Valley Wind Energy Center in Unita County, Wyoming, flows into the Mona substation for interconnection with the IPP line. That contract was signed last June. Another 185 MW of wind under a contract with UPC Wind in Utah would feed directly into the IPP transformer station beginning in December 2008. This would coincide with the transmission upgrade, he said. In addition, because the line upgrade will be accomplished via improvements to substations, there will be no need to undergo any additional permitting process. LADWP has adopted a renewable resources portfolio goal of 20 percent (approximately 6,000 GWh) by 2010.

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