Southern California Edison
To Hold Open House In Daggett
For Proposed Transmission Line

June 10, 2013

      On Wednesday, June 19, 2013, Southern California Edison (SCE) will be hosting one of their legally required Open Houses at the Daggett Community Center between the hours of 5 P.M. and 8 P.M. to promote their Coolwater-Lugo Transmission Project.  This is an important transmission line for Edison in that it will open up Barstow and the surrounding region for a vast expansion of solar and wind projects.

      Initially, this transmission line's purpose is to serve the 250 MW Abengoa Mojave Solar Project located halfway between Barstow and Krammer Junction; nine miles northwest of Hinkley; and the proposed Granite Mountain Wind Energy Project located east of Apple Valley.  The transmission line project can be likened to a new one-way 20-lane freeway for power to be sent to the Southern California urban market.

      Of immediate interest to Newberry Springs is the proposed 3,855 acre Calico Solar Project (formerly the SES Solar One Project) that is being planned east of Newberry Springs.  This site was originally selected in large part due to the immediate proximity of the Pisgah power substation.

Pisgah Substation
Pisgah Substation east of Newberry Springs.

      Power lines passing through the Pisgah Substation travel southwest into the Lucerne Valley and then into Hesperia.  To handle the expected increase power generated from the Calico Solar Project, including future needs of projects still on the drawing board, SCE has proposed the Lugo-Pisgah Renewable Transmission Corridor Project, a major transmission line upgrade along this Pisgah route to Hesperia.  The key, however, is the Calico project as SCE cannot upgrade transmission lines without an initial viable power producer.

      Due to delays in the forward progress of the Calico Solar Project, the solar project is currently in jeopardy of Edison cancelling its Pisgah transmission capacity upgrade unless Calico Solar can demonstrate some progress by September 2013.  If it fails, the vital Lugo-Pisgah transmission line upgrade is scheduled to be removed from Edison's planning "cue".  The Lugo-Pisgah transmission project can be later reinstated but reinstatement will represent additional expense and loss of valuable "cue" position and reinstatement time.

Transmission Line Route
Southern California Edison map of the Coolwater-Lugo project.  Line between Pisgah and Coolwater is a telecommunications cable.

      With the massive capacity of the (Daggett area) Coolwater-Lugo Transmission Project now on the road to becoming a reality, and with the upgrade costs of the Lugo-Pisgah Project, would SCE be quietly reconsidering the construction of a new shorter transmission route from Pisgah westward to feed into the Daggett Coolwater Substation?

      Such an alternate route was considered a number of years ago.  Although a long, time consuming and costly transmission corridor study and easement would need to be acquired, such a project is not illogical, especially when multi-route redundancy is a highly rated factor desired by SCE.

      Currently, SCE is not acknowledging the consideration of any proposed transmission route along Interstate-40 between the Pisgah and Coolwater substations; and there may not be any plans.  However, such an Interstate-40 power transmission link between Pisgah and Coolwater is definitely more feasible with the establishment of the Coolwater-Lugo Transmission Project.

      For now, those opposed to the High Desert being disturbed and used to power the urban areas can attend the Open House and voice their desire for Distributed Generation; that is, on-site generation of power use, such as photovoltaic rooftop installations.

      Currently, billions of federal taxpayer dollars are being given to solar and wind power companies as rewards for political fund contributions.  It is the position of the Community Alliance Blotter that these funds would be better spent being directed back to taxpayers for use to generate power upon their own properties.

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