STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Welcome to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) website for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of proposed construction of California Pacific Electric Company (CalPeco) 625 and 650 Electrical Line Upgrade Project. An application for this project was submitted to the CPUC on August 30, 2010 (Application A. 10-08-024).
CalPeco has filed an application with the CPUC to construct the 625 and 650 Electrical Line Upgrade Project. The CPUC is the CEQA lead agency for an EIR pursuant to (Public Resources Code Section 21000 et seq.) and the State CEQA Guidelines (California Code of Regulations Section 15000 et seq.), the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is the lead agency for an EIS pursuant to the Tahoe Regional Planning Compact (Public Law 96-551), Code of Ordinances, and Rules of Procedure and the US Forest Service (USFS), Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) and Tahoe National Forest, is the Federal Lead Agency for an EIS pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S. Code 4321-4347), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations Implementing NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations 1500-1508), Forest Service Manual 1950, and Forest Service Handbook 1909.15. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), is a federal cooperating agency, and is responsible for the scope and content of the NEPA portion of the environmental document as it pertains to lands within its jurisdictional boundaries in Martis Valley.
The 625 and 650 Electrical Line Upgrade Project, as proposed by CalPeco, would consist primarily of an upgrade of CalPeco’s existing 625 and 650 electrical power lines and associated substations from 60 kilovolt (kV) to 120 kV to allow the entire North Lake Tahoe Transmission System to operate at 120 kV. The project would include six primary components: 1) removal of the existing 625 Line and construction of a new, rerouted 625 Line; 2) rebuild of the existing 650 Line with potential for realignments based on the action alternatives considered; 3) realignment of two short segments of the 650 Line and removal of the replaced segments; 4) rebuild of the Northstar Tap into a fold (a “fold” allows for service to be maintained at a substation in the event of an interruption in service on either side of the power line feeding it); 5) rebuild of a 1.6-mile long section of the existing 132 Line in the Town of Truckee; and 6) upgrade, modification, and/or decommissioning of six substations. These improvements would increase the ability to maintain the current maximum system loads during an outage on any one of the four sections of the system, and decrease reliance on the Kings Beach Diesel Generation Station. In addition, rebuilding and realigning the power lines would reduce the likelihood of outages associated with high winds, downed trees, snow loading, and forest fires, and would improve access to the lines for maintenance, emergency outage response, and repair activities. The planned conversion of the North Lake Tahoe Transmission System from its current 60 kV loop with 88 MVA of capacity to a 120 kV loop with 114 MVA of capacity (without use of the Kings Beach Diesel Generation Station) is needed to provide single-contingency reliability in accordance with federal and state requirements.
The project features and proposed activities are predominantly located on lands managed by the USFS; these lands are located in the LTBMU and Tahoe National Forest. Portions of the project are also located in the Town of Truckee and the unincorporated Placer County communities of Kings Beach and Tahoe City, on lands within the Martis Creek Lake Recreation Area and Burton Creek State Park, and on private lands.
For Additional Information
The CPUC, through its Environmental Review Team, is conducting an environmental review of the project with TRPA as the primary point of contact.
To assist the decision makers associated with the CalPeco 625 and 650 Electrical Line Upgrade Project, the CPUC engaged a third party independent consultant to review CalPeco’s planning studies and justifications to determine if CalPeco’s statement of need met reasonable and prudent electric planning principles; review and comment on the Technical Comments on the Draft EIS/EIS/EIR CalPeco/Liberty Utilities 625 and 650 Electrical Line Upgrade submitted by the North Tahoe Citizen Action Alliance and February 14, 2014; and review the alternatives considered but rejected in the Draft EIS/EIS/EIR for the CalPeco 625 and 650 Electrical Line Upgrade Project released for public review on November 8, 2013 and determine if the technical rational for rejection was reasonable given standard utility practices. The resume of the independent consultant and associated memos are available here.
To access other project information please go to: http://www.trpa.org/get-involved/major-projects/. To request additional information or to be added to the mailing list, please contact TRPA.
The TRPA’s Project Manager is:
Wendy Jepson, TRPA Senior Planner
The CPUC’s Project Manager is:
Michael Rosauer, CPUC Project Manager