Calif. power plan unveiled : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Calif. power plan unveiled

$300 million would go to grid By Mason Stockstill THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Spencer Abraham, United States energy secretary.

LOS ANGELES - U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham unveiled a plan Monday to help ease a transmission bottleneck that has kept power from flowing freely throughout the state during times of peak usage.

The plan calls for a $300 million expansion of a portion of the state's power grid. Private companies will be invited to build, own and operate the new transmission lines.

The improvements could increase the transmission capacity of the 84-mile stretch of power lines in California's Central Valley by 1,500 megawatts - enough electricity for more than 1 million homes.

"Our plan is a critical component in solving the long-term power crisis in this state," Abraham said.

The lines are currently the only ones connecting the northern and southern portions of the state. Abraham said 13 companies have already submitted plans for the work.

Federal officials plan to award a contract to one of the companies in the next 30 days, with the project probably taking at least two years to complete.

Officials have said the current lack of capacity was one factor behind rolling blackouts that hit Northern California this year. Though excess power was available in Southern California, it could not be moved fast enough to avoid problems in the northern portion of the state.

-- Martin Thompson (, July 24, 2001

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