A 125-mile transmission line is being built between Arizona and California – after nearly a decade of planning. The line, called the Ten West Link, will make it possible to send solar and wind energy between the two states.
By Amber Victoria Singer || Cronkite News February 5, 2023
A 125-mile transmission line is being built between Arizona and California – after nearly a decade of planning. The line, called the Ten West Link, will make it possible to send solar and wind energy between the two states. The director of the Sierra Club’s Arizona chapter, Sandy Bahr, said it’s beneficial for both states.
“It’s not a one-way street, so to speak, or a one-way transmission line,” Bahr said.
She said it’s important to move toward clean energy.
“The main argument for clean energy is to help address climate change,” Bahr said. “Climate change is the biggest challenge we face, it affects every facet of our lives. It’s harming us economically, it’s harming our health, and it is, you know, really making parts of Arizona uninhabitable.”
At the project’s groundbreaking ceremony last month, Vice President Kamala Harris said the transmission line will help make sure communities have enough power to meet peak demand. This will increase energy reliability in the region.
“That’s fewer blackouts, fewer summer nights without the AC and fewer of those cell phone alerts that tell you to turn off or reduce nonessential power so the grid doesn’t overload,” Harris said.
Gov. Katie Hobbs called the transmission line a game changer.
“Our state should lead the way in sustainable and renewable energy development, and this effort is an example of what we need to build a 21st century clean energy economy that puts Arizona on a path to long-term prosperity.”
According to Hobbs, clean energy isn’t just better for the environment. It’s cheaper, too.
“Over the last year, I’ve heard from many people across Arizona about rising energy costs and the burden this has placed on their families,” Hobbs said. “During difficult economic times, we need a renewed investment into our energy infrastructure.”
There were a lot of speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony. But none of them were from Tonopah, the unincorporated community where Ten West Link will begin- or, end, depending on how you look at it. Because Tonopah isn’t an official city or town, it doesn’t have a mayor or city council. Tonopah Community Council president James Hoodenpyle disagreed with Harris and Hobbs saying that Ten West Link will create jobs.
Hoodenpyle is a father and a businessman.
“Did it cause a major stir of jobs and movement? No…The jobs they say a bill like this creates are jobs that already exist…and when they say they’re creating 125 jobs, most of the time they moved 125 jobs or 200 jobs or however many that is,” he said.
Even if the transmission line does create new jobs, Hoodenpyle said they likely won’t go to locals.
Ten West Link is expected to be operating by the end of the year.