Developers have finally settled on a route for the proposed Ten West Link transmission line.
The 500 kilovolt line is expected to pass through La Paz County as it delivers electricity to Southern California.
The line will begin in Tonopah, Arizona and end at Blythe, California, but following hearing with local residents, developers say the route will avoid population centers, environmentally sensitive areas and the Colorado River Indian Reservation.
The La Paz County Supervisors heard an update on the proposed line at their Oct. 21 meeting. Ali Amirali, a new spokesperson for the developer Starwood Energy Group, said the Bureau of Land Management has issued its final environmental report on the project.
County officials initially expressed opposition to the line, saying it could hurt tourism in the county, hurt the property tax base, and be an impediment to future development. They also said the county would receive no benefits from the line, such as greater access to affordable energy.
In November 2016, it was suggested that a solar energy project planned for eastern La Paz County be tied into the Ten West Link line. Much of the work on this proposal was done by Kelly Sarber, a consultant for the county.
At the Oct. 21, 2019 Board of Supervisors’ meeting Amirali said the power transmitted by the line was being planned to include solar power from La Paz County. He said the line would promote economic development in Arizona and California.
Amirali thanked the Supervisors for their continued support for the project.
When completed, the Ten West Link transmission line will consist of towers from 100 to 195 feet tall. It will run 125 miles from Tonopah, Ariz. to Blythe, Calif. The estimated cost is $300 million.
It’s called the Ten West Link because it closely follows the route of Interstate 10.
La Paz County has long sought to purchase BLM land in the eastern part of the county for economic development. The plan now is for a major solar energy development. Legislation allowing the county to purchase up to 6,000 acres of BLM land was introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, and was co-sponsored by other members of Arizona’s Congressional delegation. County District 1 Supervisor D.L. Wilson traveled to Washington, D.C. to testify before Congress about the proposed purchase.
Legislation authorizing the sale was passed by Congress and then signed by President Donald Trump on March 12, 2019.