California officials are looking to streamline the development of transmission lines to access more geothermal power, the state's largest baseload source of in-state renewable energy. At least two geothermal projects have been stalled by lack of transmission access to the grid; several more are in the queue waiting for transmission.
"We have been negatively affected in our geothermal development by slow transmission growth. Having transmission lines in place is a significant issue in trying to market a power-purchase agreement," says Steve Larsen, the president of CE Generation LLC, a unit of Mid-American Energy Holdings that is developing a geothermal project called Black Rock in Imperial County, Calif. The three-unit, 150-MW plant has been in development for almost a decade.