Sonoran-Mojave Renewable Transmission Project
Nine public and private power firms/entities considered development of the SMRT. SMRT would construct new transmission lines and upgrade the existing grid to help deliver renewable energy from remote sites in southeastern California and western Arizona to load centers across the desert southwest.
The primary purpose of SMRT would be to provide transmission infrastructure to collect renewable resources and provide wholesale and retail markets in Arizona and California access to those renewable resources. It would also provide improved reliability of the transmission grid in the southwestern United States. Participating utilities and Western have requests in their respective transmission interconnection queues from renewable resource developers. Until transmission system upgrades are built, very little additional generation, including generation from renewable resources, can be added to the power grid in the Sonoran-Mojave areas.
December 2011 - SMRT effort concluded: The coordinated effort to explore and potentially develop the SMRT Project elements concluded in December 2011. The original study participants have no arrangements in place to collectively pursue the effort further.
December 2010 - Feasiblity study released: According to the November 2010 Sonoran-Mojave Renewable Transmission Project Preliminary Feasibility Study (3.9 MB pdf), development of about 9,500 to 12,500 megawatts of transmission capacity is technically feasible. The study looked at a number of potential new transmission lines and upgrades to existing lines that would, if constructed, provide new transmission capacity in Arizona, California and Nevada primarily to support additional renewable resources, provide wholesale and retail markets with access to those resources and provide a more robust transmission grid.
The study was jointly developed and funded by a diverse group of energy interests that voluntarily joined together to determine the technical feasibility of the lines and explore potential business arrangements to develop SMRT.
- Arizona Public Service Company
- Citizens Energy Corporation
- Department of Energy – Western Area Power Administration
- Department of Energy Solar Technologies Program
- Imperial Irrigation District
- Salt River Project Agricultural and Improvement District
- Starwood Energy Group
- Trans-Elect Development Company and Energy Investors Funds
- 21st Century Transmission an Energy Capital Partners affiliate
- Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District
Element A - Palo Verde-North Gila
500-kV, about 100 miles
Element B - Palo Verde-Blythe
500-kV, about 110 miles
Element C -
South of Parker
Potential double circuit, 230/500-kV, about 330 miles
North of Parker
Potential double circuit, 230/500-kV, about 190 miles
Element D - Imperial Valley
Potential 500-kV network addition to the Southern California grid in Imperial County, Calif., estimated line miles TBD