Western Area Power Administration crews must take to the sky to maintain the Trinity-to-Carr transmission line, along with many other power lines in the region. The Trinity-to-Carr 230-kV line traverses rugged terrain in under-developed wilderness areas. Western tries to reduce unnecessary environmental impact whenever possible, so the Sierra Nevada line crews use long-line maintenance. Most recently, the crews replaced insulators in northern California from a helicopter this May 12-15.
WAPA is one of four power marketing administrations within the U.S. Department of Energy whose role is to market and transmit wholesale electricity from multi-use water projects. Its service area encompasses a 15-state region of the central and western U.S., where WAPA's more than 17,000 circuit mile transmission system carries electricity from 56 hydropower plants operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the International Boundary and Water Commission. It also markets power from the Navajo Generating Station coal-fired plant near Page, Arizona. Together, these plants have an installed capacity of 10,504 MW. WAPA sells its power to preference customers such as federal and state agencies, cities and towns, rural electric cooperatives, public utility districts, irrigation districts and Native American tribes. They, in turn, provide retail electric service to millions of consumers in the West.
All images and captions from Western Area Power Administration.