Transmission for California’s Central Valley
Subhash Paluru is the Senior VP & Regional Manager, Western Area Power Administration, Sierra Nevada Region.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: Subhash, what's the role of the Western Area Power Administration in this proposed transmission project?
Subhash Paluru: The Western Area Power Administration is a power marketing agency within the Department of Energy. We have over seventeen thousand miles of transmission, and more than three hundred substations.
We're the heavy lifters in the West; we do work in fifteen states.
Our primary role is to market hydropower from multipurpose, congressionally authorized projects, and deliver it to legislatively defined preference power nonprofit entities, such as municipalities, state and Federal entities, tribes, the irrigation districts, and other customers.
One of the congressionally authorized projects from which WAPA markets hydropower is the Central Valley Project, which is primarily north of Bakersfield, California, all the way up to the Oregon border. It has sixteen hydro facilities, and about twenty-one hundred megawatts of installed capacity.
Our biggest role is to supply that power from those hydro facilities, utilizing pump loads. That is unique in California.
These pumps provide the water in those canals and the reservoirs for irrigation, among other tasks.
This transmission line is critical to the reliability of the service to the water customers and to keeping those power rates low for Reclamation's water customers.