The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is preparing to unveil alternative routes for a downsized \u201cGreen Path\u201d transmission line. According to the public utility, the new transmission line is aimed at bringing renewable energy from geothermal and solar-rich Imperial Valley into Los Angeles. The city utility is honing in on alternative routes and mitigation measures for the line, LADWP spokesperson Carol Tucker said. The department also is evaluating burying, or \u201cundergrounding,\u201d the transmission line in some areas to lessen environmental impacts in developed areas and reduce visual impacts in some scenic areas. The department plans to choose final alternative paths as early as this spring. It likely will take about two years before the muni can actually begin building the line, Tucker said. It\u2019s considering building two 230 kV lines from the desert toward the Los Angeles urban area. LADWP is expected to be the lead agency in preparing the California Environmental Quality Act analysis. The federal Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service are set to co-lead the effort under the National Environmental Policy Act. However, the department\u2019s plan continues to face stiff opposition from desert area residents. They contend that the Green Path line either is not needed or should consist only of upgrading the capacity on existing transmission lines. \u201cThese power lines are not needed,\u201d said Jim Harvey. Harvey heads the Alliance for Responsible Energy Policy in Joshua Tree. He maintains that LADWP can meet its 35 percent renewable energy goal with solar panels on rooftops and other types of renewable energy systems built within its distribution network. Others are concerned about the potential impacts of the proposed transmission line on the desert land. \u201cThis corridor would cross several pristine lands,\u201d said Ruth Rieman, California Desert Coalition vice chair. The prospect of the new high voltage line, she said, has prompted 600 people to join the coalition. When it was announced in 2006, the Green Path was intended to transmit up to 1,600 MW of power from Imperial Valley into the Southern California metropolitan area. Citizen\u2019s Energy, a Massachusetts non-profit corporation headed by Joseph P. Kennedy II, was going to market up to half of the power. Citizen\u2019s Energy dropped out of the project after finding its plan to market excess energy transmitted over the line was not a viable business model, said Pete Smith, the organization\u2019s chief operating officer. In response, LADWP downsized the capacity of the proposed line to 800 MW. This smaller capacity, Tucker said, still would be sufficient to meet the department\u2019s long-term renewable power goal of 35 percent green power. The LADWP Green Path is part of a larger effort to open up the Imperial Valley to renewable energy production, said Rosa Maria Gonzales, Imperial Irrigation District spokesperson. She explained that IID itself is building two additional lines. One is to interconnect the Salton Sea geothermal power resource area into the LADWP Green Path. The other line in the southwest part of Imperial County is intended to allow power from proposed wind, solar, and biomass energy projects to flow through IID\u2019s system to LADWP. Both those lines may be completed as early as the end of 2010 She said 27 renewable energy project developers have queued up to interconnect to the IID\u2019s transmission system. IID, along with Arizona Public Service and the Salt River Project, plans to build a third line eastward to the Palo Verde, Arizona, area where there are several gas-powered plants and the Palo Verde nuclear plant. That line may be operational by 2014, said Gonzales.