Ten West Link is a Model for Future Lower Impact Infrastructure
PHOENIX, Ariz. (August 31, 2018) — On Friday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released the draft Environmental Impact Statement for a new transmission line that will move energy from Arizona’s busy Palo Verde substation to California.
Watched closely by conservationists and clean energy advocates in Arizona and across the West, the line was originally proposed to go through the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, where it would impact a sensitive and protected Sonoran Desert preserve.
Following a report published by the Sonoran Institute, conservationists and solar industry representatives advocated for an alternative route within a West-wide Energy Corridor along Interstate 10 that had been previously assessed and approved for energy transmission. The BLM has now selected this corridor as the preferred route for the Ten West Link.
“This is a huge win for the environment and our renewable energy industry in Arizona,” says Ian Dowdy, the director of the Sonoran Institute’s Sustainable Landscapes and Communities team. “For the last decade, we have been looking for corridors where much-needed transmission lines can provide the capacity to expand our renewable energy portfolio. The colocation of different types of infrastructure in single corridors is the model for avoiding unnecessary, cumulative impacts.”
Ten West Link is not the first transmission line to be proposed in the wildlife refuge. In 2007, the Arizona Corporation Commission unanimously rejected the Palo Verde to Devers II line that would have gone through the Kofa.