utilitiesAt Thanksgiving the California Public Utilities Commission approved a new 500 kV transmission line from the southeastern desert where several solar projects are installed to cities on the coast.

Initially it was planned to transmit electricity from Arizona solar projects as well as Arizona officials were afraid of becoming an energy farm for its neighbor. But even with Arizona shying away from their participation, the transmission line is a great news for desert solar project now having possibility to get integrated onto the grid.

The Devers-Palo Verde No. 2 line was first submitted in 2005. The $537 million, 500 kV line would span 170 miles in two segments across Southern California — 128 miles along Interstate 10 from North Palm Springs to Blythe, and 42 miles from Romoland to North Palm Springs.

Because it will travel the whole way next to existing power lines and follow the path of Interstate 10 for most of its route, it gets mainstream environmental approval from the NRDC and the Sierra Club.

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