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For Immediate Release: January 25, 2005
Contact: Chris Davis (916) 654-4989

Energy Commission Reports on Progress of Blythe Transmission Line Proposal

Sacramento - The Preliminary Staff Assessment released today by the California Energy Commission identifies information necessary to complete the staff analysis and recommend mitigation measures for two transmission lines and a new substation proposed for the Blythe Energy Project.

The Energy Commission, Western Area Power Administration and Bureau of Land Management are reviewing a proposed amendment to the license issued by the Energy Commission for the Blythe Energy Project. The request to construct the transmission lines and a related new transmission substation would allow all of the electrical output of the existing 520-megawatt power plant to be delivered into the Southern California electrical system. The proposed addition would also help relieve future congestion and provide needed electricity supplies in Southern California.

The Energy Commission has authority to approve amendments and modifications to facilities it has certified. Western and BLM have control over portions of the existing Blythe Energy Project transmission system and for portions of the right-of-way for the proposed transmission lines.

The Preliminary Staff Assessment of the Blythe Energy Transmission Line Amendment Petition is available on the Energy Commission website at:


The Energy Commission will work jointly with the Western Area Power Administration and Bureau of Land Management to develop the final staff document. Energy Commission staff will coordinate with Western, Bureau of Land Management, California Independent System Operator and Southern California Edison to conduct workshops. The areas in which more information is needed include; transmission system engineering, biological resources, cultural resources, socioeconomics, soil and water resources, traffic and transportation, visual resources and waste management.

Comments on the Preliminary Staff Assessment may be submitted by February 28, 2005. The Energy Commission staff, the Bureau of Land Management and Western Area Power Administration will hold a workshop to discuss the Preliminary Staff Assessment on:

Thursday, February 17th and Friday, February 18, 2005
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Could end before 5 p.m. Friday, if work is completed)
City Hall Council Chambers
3200 East Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

A toll-free call-in number has been set up for those who cannot appear at the workshop in person at 1-888-677-1801. The access code is Caswell.

The document is not a final or proposed decision on the amendment petition. A Committee of two Commissioners appointed to conduct the Energy Commission review will consider the final staff assessment, along with other evidence presented at hearings, and decide whether to recommend the amendment for approval by the full Energy Commission. If so, the Committee will publish a proposed decision. The full Energy Commission would then hold a hearing and render a decision on the amendment petition application.

Public involvement is an important part of the Energy Commission power plant licensing and amendment processes. To find out how to participate in this case, contact the Energy Commissions Public Adviser, Margret J. Kim, at (916) 654-4489, (800) 822-8228, or by e-mail at:


Reporter notes:

Media inquiries should be addressed to Chris Davis at (916) 654-4989.

The Energy Commission is constantly updating the media database to which we send news releases and news advisories. Members of the media who wish to be added to the database, have their information updated, or deleted, should send an e-mail to:


Please indicate the types of releases in which you are interested, such as Blythe area power projects.

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