This web page provides information concerning the Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project.
Letter to LADWP from Supervisor Antonovich
Barren Ridge Project Video.
What is the Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project
LADWP is proposing the Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project to access clean, renewable energy resources in the Tehachapi Mountain and Mojave Desert areas of Southern California. The project is in Kern and Los Angeles Counties, and is approximately 75 miles in length from Barren Ridge Switching Station to Rinaldi Substation and 12 miles in length from Castaic Powerplant to the proposed Haskell Switching Station. The project will consist of:
1. Construction of a 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line from the LADWP Barren Ridge Switching Station to Haskell Canyon on double-circuit structures (involving approximately 13 miles of National Forest System (FS) lands and 4 miles of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed public lands);
2. Addition of a 230 kV circuit on the existing double-circuit structures from Haskell Canyon to the Castaic Power Plant (involving approximately 4 miles of FS lands and 300 feet of BLM managed public lands);
3. Upgrade the existing Owens Gorge-Rinaldi 230 kV transmission line with larger capacity conductors between the Barren Ridge Switching Station to Rinaldi Substation (involving approximately 13 miles of FS lands and 4 miles of BLM managed public lands);
4. Construction of a new electrical switching station at Haskell Canyon.
The Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project spans a distance of approximately 75 miles from the Mojave Desert south to the San Fernando Valley. The project is located within northwestern Los Angeles County and southwestern Kern County. The project study area is generally defined by the following limits: the northern boundary is the southern slopes of the Tehachapi Mountains, eastern boundary parallels State Route 14, southern boundary generally parallels the Santa Clara River, and the western boundary parallels Interstate 5. The study area measures approximately 1,280 square miles.
Within this study area several routing possibilities have been identified that traverse through the Antelope Valley, across Angeles National Forest, and public lands located in the Mojave Desert. Please refer to the Project Location map for an overview of the proposed action and preliminary alternative corridors being considered. Please refer to the Preliminary Alternative Route map for a more detailed view of the proposed project and preliminary alternatives currently being considered. The routes shown in these maps are preliminary only and do not necessarily represent the final alternatives that will be carried through for analysis in the EIS/EIR. There may be fewer or additional alternative routes to those shown on the map.
Purpose and Need
The primary purpose and need for the proposed project is to meet Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goals and reduce the environmental impacts associated with greenhouse gases (GHG) and emissions of other air pollutants. Current LADWP RPS goals call for 20% renewable energy by 2010 and 35% by 2020. GHG goals are set for CO2 emission reductions of 35% below the 1990 levels by 2030.
In order to reach these goals, a second purpose of this action is for additional transmission capacity necessary for the City of Los Angeles to reach and integrate the many proposed renewable energy projects located in the Mojave Desert and Owens Valley areas of Southern California. LADWP is developing two wind projects that would total 270 MW combined in the mountains northeast of Tehachapi. Furthermore, LADWP currently has several interconnection requests for approximately 1200 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy within the same geographical area. These renewable projects are proposed to interconnect to, or deliver power through, the Barren Ridge Switching Station which is being constructed approximately 12 miles north of Mojave on the Owens Gorge-Rinaldi line (OG-RIN) to interconnect LADWP’s Pine Tree Wind Project.
The existing OG-RIN 230 kV transmission line, which has a 400 MW transfer capacity, currently is loaded with 160 MW of electrical load leaving only 240 MW of excess capacity. Maximizing the capacity of the existing OG-RIN corridor is the second need for the project to not only meet the current interconnection requests, but to utilize future renewable energy sources in this area which are projected by the California Energy Commission at over 4000 MW of wind and over 2000 MW of solar.
The project will also increase system reliability and flexibility. A new switching station would help LADWP meet NERC and WECC reliability requirements while providing greater flexibility in the utilization of both the proposed wind and solar energy within their electrical system.
Lastly, the project will increase the efficient utilization of the Castaic Power Plant. The power plant is a pump-storage hydroelectric generation facility that would be used to integrate the intermittent renewable energy (wind, solar). This will allow LADWP to utilize its power plants transmission network in a more efficient manner as well as reduce its power system losses.
The project will cross both public lands managed by the BLM and FS and both agencies are responding to the applications from LADWP for a Special Use Authorization, Right of Way Grant, and amendments to existing authorizations/grants.
LADWP is proposing the following components to meet the purpose and need of the project:
• Construct approximately 60 miles of a new 230 kV double circuit structure system from the Barren Ridge Switching Station to Haskell Canyon. This proposed line would cross approximately 13 miles of National Forest System lands and four miles of public lands managed by BLM;
• Install approximately 12 miles of a 230 kV circuit onto existing double circuit transmission line structures from Haskell Canyon to the Castaic Power Plant. This proposed line would cross approximately four miles of National Forest System lands and less than one mile of public lands managed by BLM;
• Reconductor the existing OG-RIN Transmission Line with larger capacity conductors from the Barren Ridge Switching Station to the Rinaldi Substation located in the San Fernando Valley. Approximately 13 miles of National Forest System lands and four miles of public lands managed by BLM would be affected by the reconductoring.
• Construct the new Haskell Switching Station on LADWP-owned property north of Santa Clarita and just south of the Angeles National Forest managed lands.
Please refer to the Project Location map for an overview of the proposed action and preliminary alternatives being considered. Please refer to the Preliminary Alternative Route map for a more detailed view of the preliminary alternatives currently being considered. The routes shown in these map are preliminary only and do not necessarily represent the final alternatives that will be analyzed in the EIS/EIR. There may be fewer or additional alternative routes to those shown on the map.
Based on the nature and scope of the proposed project, LADWP has determined that the proposed project is a major federal and state action that may have a significant adverse impact to the environmental from construction, operation and maintenance of the project. Both the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) are concerned with identifying, analyzing, and disclosing the potential environmental effects of a proposed project prior to its implementation. The Forest Service, BLM, and LADWP will prepare a joint Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) for the Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project. The Forest Service and BLM will serve as the NEPA co-lead agencies in preparation of the EIS. LADWP is the lead agency for compliance with CEQA and preparation of the EIR.
All public documents related to the CEQA and NEPA review process for the Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project will be available at this website. A Notice of Intent was published in the Federal Register on April 9, 2008. Agencies, elected officials, organizations, Native American Tribes, and interested individuals were sent a Notice of Preparation. A newsletter (#1) was sent to interested individuals and all property owners within 500 feet on either side of the proposed transmission centerline and preliminary alternative routes.
Scoping is a process for determining the issues to be addressed, and identifying the range of actions, alternatives, mitigation measures, and significant effects to be analyzed in depth in an EIS/EIR. The Forest Service, BLM and LADWP conducted a public scoping period to allow the regulatory agencies and the public an opportunity to comment on the project. The public scoping period began April 7, 2008 when a Notice of Preparation (NOP) was issued, and the Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a joint EIS/EIR was published in the Federal Register. Newsletter #1 was sent out to agency representatives, elected officials, Native American Tribes, interested parties and organizations, and property owners within 500 feet of both sides of the proposed project and preliminary alternatives in Los Angeles and Kern Counties. The newsletter contained the project description, purpose and need for the project, a map, description of the environmental review process, announcement of the public scoping meetings, and contact information.
From April 22 through May 1, 2008, LADWP, Forest Service and BLM conducted seven public scoping meetings in the cities of Santa Clarita, Agua Dulce, Castaic, Lake Hughes, Lebec, Palmdale and California City. The purpose of these meetings was to share information regarding the proposed project and the decision-making processes, and to listen to public and agency views on the range of issues to be considered during the preparation of the Draft EIS/EIR.
The following items were passed out to participants of the scoping meetings:
There were seven stations located around the room at each scoping meeting that the public was invited to view and comment or ask questions about. The stations and the boards presented at each station are available in pdf form below.
• Welcome Board
• Purpose & Need (4 main goals)
• Environmental Benefits
• Renewable Resources Maps
• Wind Map
• Reliability and Flexibility
• Haskell Substation Aerial
• Castaic Power Plant
• Project Description / Components
• Project Map (graphic map)
• Typical Structures
• Construction Sequence diagram
• From Power Plant to You diagram
• Environmental Laws
• Project Team Members
• Environmental Process diagram
• Alternatives Route Development diagram
• Siting Study Biology Map
• Siting Study Land Use Map
• Siting Study Composite Sensitivity Map
• Preliminary Alternatives Corridors Map
• Decision Factors in Evaluating Alternatives diagram
• Project Time Line
The formal presentation consisted of the following 16 minute video available for viewing below:
The resulting Scoping Report summarizes the public scoping effort conducted for the BRRTP EIS/EIR and documents issues and concerns expressed during the public scoping period. Over 200 comments were received from the public and agencies during the BRRTP scoping period. All comments received through July 2008 were incorporated into the Scoping report. The following is a summary of the issues and comments raised by the public and agencies:
Residents submitted many recommendations including:
• Using tubular steel mono poles and/or underground lines.
• Using a one tower-system (multi-circuits)
• Alternate routes
• Using Direct Current (DC) lines
• LADWP share or combine lines with other utility companies
• Use of Niobium wire
• Generating electricity within the City of Los Angeles
• Use line easements for trails and community farms, open space, soccer fields, etc.
• Purchase nature preserves.
• Extending public comment and review period
• Increased notification to property owners
Residents also commented on or provided comments regarding:
• The transmission of renewable energy to the Los Angeles basin
• The amount of renewable energy available to LADWP
• Determining criteria for future energy requirements and needs
• Other renewable energy projects that could meet the needs of the BRRTP
• Increased EMF emissions
• Adverse affects on fire suppression efforts (in and adjacent to the Angeles National Forest)
• Acquisition of private property
• Increased noise levels
• Decreased property values
• Impacts to public health and the environment
• Illegal off-road activity along transmission
• Effects of multiple siting of high voltage transmission lines
• New waste and hazardous waste generation
• Construction traffic
The BLM and Forest Service inquired about upgrading the electrical transmission system to a 500 kV instead of 230 kV. Concerns from agencies such as the BLM, Forest Service, Air Quality Management District, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), Pacific Crest Trail Association, Department of Transportation, City of Lancaster and the Regional Water Quality Control Board included (but were not limited to) the potential for impacts to:
• Cultural, Biological, Paleontological, Mineralogical and Recreational resources
• Rare, threatened, endangered and special status species and habitats
• Increased raptor predation of sensitive species
• Wildlife movement and migration paths
• Air quality
• Fire suppression flight paths and staging areas
• Wildernesses, Wildlife corridors and open space
• Wild and Scenic River Corridors
• The Antelope Valley California Poppy Natural Reserve, the Angeles National Forest, the Pacific Crest Trial, and the San Andreas Rift Zone Significant Ecological Area (SEA)
• Future projects and developments in the project area (cumulative impacts)
• Consistency with SCAG’s Regional Comprehensive Plan and Guide
• Increased illegal off-highway vehicle use, illegal hunting, plant-collecting and other unauthorized access
• Encroachment upon State transportation facilities and local roads, and increased construction traffic
• Sensitive areas from long-term maintenance plans for access roads
• Spread of invasive plant species (including noxious weeds) during construction
• Trash and micro-trash generation during construction
• Storm water run-off, drainages, wetlands, Waters of the State, Waters of the U.S. and blue-line streams
• From grading and sub-grading roads for maintenance
Comments received during the public scoping period assisted the Forest Service, BLM and LADWP to determine the scope and significant issues to be analyzed in the Draft EIS/EIR.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
The project team welcomes comments and involvement throughout the project and appreciates your feedback. Comments concerning the scope of the environmental analysis are requested by May 8, 2008. If you have questions or comments about the project, or would like to be added to the project mailing list, please contact the project team in one of the following ways:
• Attend one of the public scoping meetings
• Call the toll free Barren Ridge Hotline (877) 440-3592
• Visit the project website www.ladwp.com/barrenridge/
• Send an email to BRRTP@powereng.com
• Send written comments to: Forest Service/BLM/LADWP c/o POWER Engineers, Inc., 731 E. Ball Road, Suite 100, Anaheim, CA 92805
In addition to the on going public and agency participation process, formal opportunities for public participation would be provided upon publication of the Draft EIS/EIR.
Lead Agency Contacts
Manager of Environmental Assessment
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
111 North Hope Street, Room 1044
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Natural Resources Planner
USDA, Forest Service
Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Team
1600 Tollhouse Rd.
Clovis, CA 93611
Chief, Lands & Minerals
DOI, Bureau of Land Management
Ridgecrest Field Office
300 S. Richmond Road
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
BRRTP Project Team
c/o POWER Engineers, Inc.
731 E. Ball Road, Suite 100
Anaheim, CA 92805
As part of the public outreach efforts of the BRRTP, five informational public meetings were scheduled in February 2009 to provide updates on the BRRTP’s progress. The meetings included an open house between 5:30PM – 8:30PM with a presentation scheduled for 7:00PM. Dates and locations were as follows:
A fact sheet was handed out at the meeting and informational boards were situated around the room that the public was invited to view and comment or ask questions about.
The formal presentation consisted of the following 15 minute video available for viewing below:
The information boards available for viewing during the February 2009 Public Meetings open house are available individually below. All the board in one file is available by clicking here.