- Lines and transformers that are part of a system developed to deliver massive amounts of renewable energy to the Los Angeles metropolitan region have become local distribution as the result of a reconfiguration in the area, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
- As distribution rather than transmission, the Southern California Edison (SCE) Antelope and Bailey 66-kV transmission facilities and several 66-kV to 220-kV transformers are not subject to control by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which runs the state grid, and will have to be maintained by the generators who use them.
- The transfer of status was opposed by First Solar, which operates over 300 megawatts of solar power plant capacity along the lines, and the California Wind Energy Association (CalWEA), whose members have or plan over 5,000 megawatts of capacity in the Tehachapi Mountains and use the system to deliver power to the state’s energy-hungry cities.
CalWEA and First Solar argued that removing the lines from CAISO control threatened system reliability, especially with new demands coming from the loss of Southern California’s 2,200 megawatt San Onofre nuclear station, and that the facilities will continue to serve a wholesale transmission function normally managed by CAISO.
FERC agreed with the CAISO arguments that, according to FERC criteria, (1) the facilities are not part of its grid, (2) the status change will not compromise its reserve procurement capability, and (3) an outage of the facilities would not affect CAISO's transmission system.
The facilities are a small part of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project (TRTP), a much larger transmission and distribution system initiated by wind developers in the 1990s and developed by SCE in the early 2000s that will eventually carry 15,000 megawatts of renewables-generated electricity from the abundant wind and solar resources in the Antelope Valley and the Tehachapi Mountains.