T&D World Magazine

Transmission Agency of Northern California Transmission Project Will Improve Reliability and Provide Needed Access to In-State Renewable Power

The Transmission Agency of Northern California (TANC) announced that it has completed a year-long collaborative effort to examine the regional transmission impacts of its planned TANC Transmission Project (TTP). The final analysis of the Sub-Regional Planning Group (SRPG) concluded that the addition of the TTP would benefit the reliability of the Northern California transmission grid and could allow for the integration of at least 1600 MW of new renewable generation. The results of the study are documented in the “TANC Transmission Program WECC Regional Planning Report” (Jan. 21, 2009).

The TTP represents roughly 600 miles of new and upgraded high-voltage transmission facilities. The SRPG was formed for this effort and included approximately 40 participants representing neighboring utilities, generation developers, and government agencies throughout the western United States. The SRPG effort adhered to the regional planning requirements of the Western Electricity Coordination Council (WECC) and the Order 890 requirements of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The completion of this effort represents a major milestone for the TTP and transitions TANC into the start of the environmental analysis and permitting process. During the environmental process, TANC will be working closely with the Western Area Power Administration (Western). TANC will be the lead for California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) efforts, and Western will lead the National Environment al Protection Act (NEPA) efforts.

“We are pleased to see that the Sub-Regional Planning Group confirms the significant benefits that the TTP will have for the State of California,” noted TANC Chairman Allen Short. “As a result of completing the Sub-Regional Planning Group’s efforts, TANC now moves forward with planning and routing the TTP with the confidence that the infrastructure enhances the reliability and power delivery capability of the Northern California transmission grid.”

James W. Beck, General Manager of TANC, added, “The California Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative’s (RETI) recently published “Phase 1B Report” identified Lassen County, one planned terminus of the TTP, as a major Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) with abundant wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass resources. TANC strongly agrees with the RETI assessment that Lassen County represents the only significant CREZ identified by this crucial state process in Northern California. We look forward to working with our fellow agencies and the broader public to develop and construct this necessary piece of infrastructure.”

Tom Boyko, Sierra Nevada Regional Manager of Western, noted that this project is another example of state and federal collaboration in the interest of promoting renewable energy and securing a more reliable electrical grid. “We are committed to working closely with TANC and other federal and state agencies to achieve a coordinated and effective
process for the TTP.”

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