Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Governor, State of California

Governor Schwarzenegger spoke to mark the completion of the first phase of the 250-mile Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project yesterday. He hailed the project, which will deliver up to 4,500 megawatts of renewable electricity to the Los Angeles metro area when completed in 2015, as the first transmission line in California built for the express purpose of unlocking renewable wind, solar, and geothermal resources. He also praised the line as a boost to California’s economy, bringing in $30 billion in investment and a large share of green venture capital.

The event also included remarks from transmission developer Edison International CEO Ted Craver. Craver announced plans to spend $1 billion per year over the next five years on new and ongoing transmission projects – including the 250-mile Tehachapi line in Southern California. He cited a new financing model approved by state and FERC regulators as a key reason his company could make the commitment to transmission development.

The “Tehachapi” cost allocation model allows developers to recover construction costs up front for transmission lines that are deemed by the California ISO – the operator of the grid servicing most of southern California – to have “system benefits.” Going forward, generators using the line would pay a pro rata share of the facility’s cost.

A video and full transcript of the event can be found here.

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