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Contentious transmission line before council
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RIPON – The concern over a possible power transmission project that could end up severely impacting family farming operations is attracting the attention of the Ripon City Council.
Tonight the council will listen to a presentation about the Transmission Agency of Northern California – also known as TANC – and their current examination into constructing a set of arterial transmission lines that will essentially run from Santa Clara over the heart of the South County before heading all the way up to the rim of the Sacramento Valley and over to Lassen County.
Dozens of valley residents concerned about the route that the lines will take and their impact on multi-generational small-scale farming operations filled the clubhouse at the Old River Golf Course in Tracy Thursday morning to listen to a presentation from TANC General Manager Brian Griess – with the mood often turning sour as the inquiries about where the lines would specifically go started flooding in.
According to Griess, the project is only in a conceptual phase at the current time and will remain as such until the results of the Environmental Impact Report come back and are reviewed for future action.
The Sacramento-based TANC is a non-profit agency designed to assist the 15 publicly owned utility districts comprise it – which include both Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts.
A portion of Ripon’s residents are current MID power customers – as is the City of Ripon – which means that some of those who might end up being impacted by the massive TANC project could eventually end up benefitting from it in the long run.
TANC maintains that in order to meet government guidelines that will require 20 percent of all power to be generated by renewable sources – a number that is expected to reach 33 percent by 2020 – that they’ll have to find a way to tap into new renewable markets and transport that power back to the member-agencies that can distribute it.
Places like Round Mountain in Shasta County will provide an opportunity for wind power generation, Griess said, and the volcanic hotspots located in Lassen County make geo-thermal generation a viable option.
While the majority of these publicly-owned utilities either own or manage the rights to hydro-power projects throughout Northern California, they cannot be applied to the renewable power requirements that are pending.
And this won’t be the first time that the Ripon City Council has considered taking a position on an issue related to public utilities and their impacts on the community.
The concept of the South San Joaquin Irrigation District using eminent domain to take over PG&E’s existing retail power system wasn’t exactly popular with everyone on the council when the matter came before them several years ago – a process that is still ongoing.
Tonight’s meeting will begin at 7 p.m. inside of the council chambers at City Hall – located at 259 N. Wilma Avenue. For more information, or to obtain a copy of the agenda for tonight’s meeting, visit
To contact Jason Campbell e-mail, or call (209) 249-3544.