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 August 21, 2009
California Group Announces Transmission Plan to Access Renewable Energy

 The Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI) recently announced the availability of its Phase 2A Report -- a conceptual transmission plan that evaluates the usefulness of potential transmission lines in accessing and delivering renewable energy. The plan is intended to help enable development and approval of renewable energy infrastructure in ways that minimize the economic cost, environmental impacts, and number of new transmission facilities.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Energy Commission, and California Independent System Operator (CAISO) formed RETI, and were joined by Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), the Northern California Power Agency, and the Southern California Public Power Authority. RETI is a public-private partnership created to consider the feasibility of building new transmission lines to access renewable generation from various areas of the state or possibly adjoining states and bring the power to population centers.

The first phase of RETI identified areas of the state and adjoining regions that have high densities of biomass, geothermal, solar, and wind resources. These areas are referred to as Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ). RETI Phase 2 work expanded the evaluation and re- ranking of CREZs and focused on the development of a statewide conceptual transmission expansion plan to access the CREZ.

The conceptual transmission plan is designed to meet the goal of obtaining 33 percent of the state's electricity from renewable resources by 2020. RETI says it was created with input from an engaged Stakeholder Steering Committee comprised of representatives of environmental groups; renewable developers; public and investor-owned utilities; state, federal, and local governments; Native American tribes; and consumers.

Based on information available today regarding the potential for renewable development, the report:

--Identifies additional transmission capacity to access and deliver renewable energy to meet the state renewable energy goals in 2020;
--Evaluates relative usefulness of potential lines for accessing the delivering renewable energy;
--Identifies potential transmission network lines for further detailed study by the California ISO and electric utilities;
--Locates most conceptual lines in existing right of way and/or designated utility corridors; and
--Builds in environmental considerations and high level screening of conceptual transmission lines.

For the RETI Phase 2A report, please visit http://www.energy.ca.gov/reti/documents/

Source: Clean Edge News