Environment & Science

Southern California's largest transmission line project brings energy out of the desert

The biggest transmission line project in the history of Southern California Edison is finally making its way out of the desert and into civiliation.

The $3.5 billion effort will transport wind energy from the Tehachapi area of Kern County into Edison's power grid, which serves 14 million people. The line would be capable of carrying 4,500 megawatts, enough to power 3 million homes at once.

Work has begun on 200-foot electrical transmission towers bringing wind farm power from the Tehachapi Mountains to urban Southern California.

It will increase power grid reliability and help Edison reach a state-mandated goal that at least 20 percent of its energy be from renewable sources by 2017.

The Pasadena Star-News says Edison completed three segments that bring energy purchased from independently owned Tehachapi wind farms near in Kern County to the high desert of Los Angeles County.

Starting this year, the utility starts work on towers bringing power lines over the San Gabriel Mountains to substations in La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena, Monterey Park, Irwindale and Chino.

This story incorporates information from the Associated Press; Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.