The TANC Transmission Project

Related Links:
(Go to our Resource Page for more.)
Informational website on TTP
Bob Langley’s blog on TTP
A map of TTP proposals
WAPA’s page on TTP 
TANC webpage on TTP
An Activist site
AntiTANC site
Stop the powerlines website
Central Valley Wetlands Threatened by Power Lines
Reinvestment Act related to Western Transmission

Officials wary of power line project
Sempra Energy Unit Offers Settlement
NY Times on Senate Draft Plan
NY Times: Senate Panel to Mark Up Transmission
LA Times: Ducks Unlimited protest power line routeResources.html
New transmission lines may not be dedicated just to "green" electrons
“There is a real potential that what you are expanding is the capacity to move coal-fired electrons, and that the cheapest power supplies, which are the dirtiest plants, will have access to markets they didn't use to.”
Chris Miller, President, Piedmont Environmental Council
NPR Morning Edition, April 28, 2009
Glossary of Important Terms
TANC and WAPA: The Transmission Agency of Northern California (TANC) is a CA Joint Powers Agency and the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) is part of the US Department of Energy.  Both engage in the financing, construction and administration of high voltage electric transmission lines.
TTP: The TANC Transmission Project (TTP) is a major electrical transmission project that will result in the construction of about 600 miles of 230-kV and 500-kV electric transmission lines and a number of electrical substations.  If built, it will extend from Lassen County to the S. Bay, San Joaquin County and the Sierra foothills.
CEQA/NEPA and EIR/EIRS: In the case of the TTP, the two reports are produced by one joint process, called CEQA/NEPA and will produce a single report, called the EIR/EIS. California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is a CA state law that requires the creation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).  National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) is a federal law that requires the creation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Scoping:  Scoping is the process by which the range or scope of the EIR/EIS is determined or, stated differently, the process of deciding what must be included in the EIR/EIS.

Important Update:

WAPA pulls out of the TTP.  See more here.

Western is cancelling the preparation of the environmental impact statement for the proposed Transmission Agency of Northern California Transmission Project. TANC has announced that it cannot undertake a detailed environmental analysis of the proposed project that would have involved new and upgraded 230-kV and 500-kV transmission lines, substations and related facilities in northern California.”

SMUD pulls out of the TTP.  Sacramento Bee reports. SMUD officials say they don't feel the project is strong enough to invest a promised $13 million for planning. The battle however, is far from over. Continue sending in your EIR/EIS scoping comments before July 30th, 2009.

What is it?

The TANC Transmission Project is a massive construction project with 600 miles of 230-kV and 500-kV transmission lines, substations, and related facilities.

We oppose this project as it exemplifies Old Green Technology, at the expense of better options. In addition, there are direct seismic and landslide risks inherent in this option (See sidebar).

TANC has repeatedly presented the RETI (Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative) process as the definitive study of renewable energy supplies in Northern California, and cites this study as justification for building new transmission lines. In fact RETI indicates that the small Shasta and Lassen County renewable sites TANC claims might be built, are all either extremely costly, environmentally unsound, or both. They are identified as some of the worst sites. Read the executive Summary, ES 10 and ES 11, and decide for yourself.

You will find more information about the project in the links below.

What can I do?

Your Input is Needed by July 30th

Under CA and federal law, any agency that wants to build a project of this sort must study the environmental effects of the project and must solicit public input before preparing a report on those effects.

Now is the time. This is the point in the process at which it is most possible to stop this project from happening.  It is critical to get as many comment letters submitted as possible.

It is your job to tell them where to look as well as what to study and consider.  Certain things must be considered in any EIR/EIS but beyond that, no concern has to be considered unless a comment about it has been submitted.  Furthermore, any comment that is submitted must be addressed.

We have posted a page with instructions on writing TANC a Comment.

Existing Routes:

Government requires first consideration be given to existing routes

  1. 1.Designation of Transmission Corridor Zones

  2. 2.Proposed Section 368 Energy Corridors

The Risks of TANC Central-3
"There are two dangers regarding the proposed TANC Central-3 500KV line:
1. Direct seismic (this is an active area), and
2. Indirect from landslides triggered not only by seismic shaking but by simple construction of the platforms and of the access road itself.  The slopes of the hills in question contain abundant active, dormant, and potential landslides.  Any access road will have continual problems with landslides.  This complication should be taken very seriously. "
   Eldridge Moores 
   UC Davis,  April 2009

Maps of proposed route

Explore the Issues


About Us

Our mission. Our Vision.

Old vs New Tech

Discussion about the relative benefits of distributed vs. centralized Energy Generation.

Energy Policy

Discussion of US Department of Energy and California's Energy Policy.

TANC Transmission Project

Our Discussion of the TANC Transmission Project.


Event, Schedules, Historical Documents.


A large collections of weblinks, documents, graphs and photos.