More on LADWP proposed solar ranch

By Deb Murphy

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch is lying in an induced-coma for the next decade, or so.

DWP's solar site sits to the east of Manzanar

DWP’s solar site sits to the east of Manzanar

While the 200-megawatt solar project east of Manzanar was removed from the Priority Queue List March 15, the department “reserves the right to renew exploration into the SOVSR at a later date. LADWP will continue to examine the viability of this renewable project for a commercial operation date estimated to be between 2024-2027,” according to spokesperson Amanda Parsons.

LADWP appears to be keeping its options open in the face of state requirements to achieve 50-percent renewables by 2030.

Parsons confirmed that once a project is withdrawn from the list it “will go to the end of the queue” if the developer resubmits it.

One factor that could have indicated a death knell of the solar ranch was the capacity of the Inyo-Rinaldi Transmission Line; or more specifically, if the capacity is reached prior to a resubmitted SOVSR request.

However, there are also options available to increase that capacity. According to Parsons, “the interconnection studies evaluate only the ability of the transmission system to accept the interconnection…not evaluate transmission capacity on any particular line. If a transmission service request is received and the line capacity for that path has already been reached, then we are obligated to perform a study to determine what facilities need to be built or expanded to add the requested capacity to that path.”


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2 Responses to More on LADWP proposed solar ranch

  1. Philip Anaya April 28, 2015 at 5:25 am #

    Currently there are 10 projects totaling 1654 Mega Watts on the Priority Queue List. In the recent past on October 8, 2014 there were 16 Projects listed with a total of 3358 Mega Watts. Seemingly a major reassessment was made with the SOVSRP and Northland Power being part of it. On the Queue List it is not clear which project is which Queue number nor who is the Interconnection Customer. 2 of 6 withdrawn were by the Transmission Provider (TP) and 4of 6 were by the Interconnection Customer (IC).
    The preliminary first public scoping meeting for the Environmental Review Process of the Barren Ridge Transmission Project (BRTL) was in May of 2008. Completion of the BRTL was to be in 2014. Now there are completion dates on the DWP web site showing 20016 on the timeline. It is no easy matter to conceive and complete a Transmission Line and costs are projected on various webpages to be 1 million bucks a mile. That’s not to say that LADWP doesn’t look at that as a response to multiple projects exceeding available capacity when evaluating a interconnection request but seriously they consider the available capacity primarily and Interconnection Customers don’t want to be on the hook for the expense of an upgrade nor do they usually have the time frame to endure the drawn out process especially with a concerned watchful and knowledgeable public and environmental organizations that we have in the Owens valley

  2. Renewable Power April 29, 2015 at 8:28 am #

    Although the department doesn’t want to admit it, the citizens of Inyo killed this project (and likely Northland’s) by organizing among themselves and with their neighbors to the south and conveying a compelling message of opposition. Congratulations to everyone who participated.


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