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Northern California Transmission Line, Transmission Agency of Northern California, Lassen County

STATUS: Killed
TYPE: Transmission Line
OPPOSITION: Landowners and farmers
BACKGROUND: In February 2009, the Transmission Agency of Northern California (TANC)—a consortium of municipal power providers—announced plans for a $1.5 billion, 600-mile transmission line project in northern California that would be capable of delivering up to 4,000 megawatts of renewable energy to Sacramento and the Bay Area.  The construction phase of the project was expected to create more than 500 jobs, and, once operational, the project was expected to create more than 100 permanent jobs.

A project spokesperson commented that underground transmission lines and rooftop solar were not viable alternatives and that a large-scale transmission plan was necessary for pushing toward California’s renewable energy goals, which at that time stated that 20 percent of a utility’s power must come from renewable sources by 2010.  He also pointed out that “no major power lines have been installed in Northern California in 16 years, despite substantial growth and increasing demand for energy” and that an existing transmission line was “maxed out.”

However, landowners and farmers aggressively fought the project because of the potential impact on property values, farming operations, and general aesthetics along the path.  Additionally, opponents worried that the publicly-owned utilities could use their power of eminent domain to take private property.  Ultimately, the fear of potential lawsuits forced several key financial supportors to back out of the project.  As a result, in July 2009, TANC effectively terminated the project by voting to cease the project’s environmental review.

LINKS: Sacramento Bee: http://www.badlandsjournal.com/cvsen?page=49&p=496;
The Modesto Bee: http://www.modbee.com/local/story/766023.html,
Colusa County Sun Herald:http://www.colusa-sun-herald.com/news/project-3206-transmission-power.html

Last Updated:  December 8, 2010