The Centennial West Clean Line will bring about tremendous rural economic development, create thousands of permanent and temporary construction jobs, and dramatically reduce carbon dioxide pollutants by millions of tons. This project will also make possible billions of dollars of investments in new renewable energy projects that could not otherwise be built due to the limitations of the existing electric transmission grid. In addition, the collective wind and solar farms made possible by the transmission line will support the manufacturing of new wind turbines and solar modules and enable significant financial contribution to local communities through employment opportunities, property taxes and landowner royalties. State and local governments can use these additional tax revenues to support local community needs, such as improvements to schools, hospitals, fire departments and police services. For instance, Arizona uses revenue from sales, leases, and interest payments related to its State Lands to fund public schools. In 2010, this funding amounted to over $50 million.
In addition to job creation benefits, consumers in the Southwest—both residential customers and businesses—will benefit from the lower prices resulting from the option of low-cost renewable energy that the project will make possible. Direct current transmission (DC) technology will enable the direct delivery of clean power at a competitive cost. Stronger transmission links between regions will lead to a more reliable electric grid.
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The Centennial West Clean Line is estimated to provide more than 5,000 construction jobs and more than 500 permanent jobs to maintain and operate the wind farms, solar plants, and transmission line. In addition to these jobs, the Centennial West Clean Line will spur increased employment opportunities in many sectors including manufacturing of turbines, panels, towers and cable, and hospitality.
The project will make possible more than $7 billion of new renewable energy investments. This new investment will result in a significant increase in property tax revenues, landowner royalty payments and direct economic benefit to rural communities.
Because wind and solar farms typically do not generate 100% of the amount of electricity that they are designed to produce, the Centennial West Clean Line will likely connect renewable generators that collectively have a capacity of more than the transmission line. Therefore, while the Centennial West Clean Line is capable of transmitting 3,500 megawatts (MW), it is estimated that, depending on advances in technology, the project will likely make possible more than 4,000 MW of new renewable power projects that would otherwise not be built due to limitations of the existing electric transmission grid.
More than 1.9 million homes will be powered by the clean, renewable energy generated as a result of this project.
The Centennial West Clean Line will make possible more than 4,000 megawatts of new clean wind and solar energy generation. This new generation allows other generators to run less and burn less fuel, eliminating the need for the equivalent amount of energy derived from fossil fuels, thereby reducing pollution. According to a study by Ventyx, the Centennial West Clean Line will reduce carbon dioxide pollution by more than 5 million tons, equivalent to removing over 960,000 cars from the road. In addition, Ventyx determined the project will reduce nitrogen oxide pollutants (contributes to smog) by approximately 2,800 tons per year.
The Centennial West Clean Line will save 2.8 billion gallons of water annually that would otherwise be lost due to evaporation in cooling thermal power plants. This is the equivalent of almost 7,400 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or the annual water use of 20,000 American families.
By utilizing direct current (DC) technology, the Centennial West Clean Line will complement the existing alternating current (AC) system. HVDC is more efficient than AC, with substantially lower energy losses when moving large amounts of power long distances. It also serves to improve the reliability and security of the electric supply, while using shorter structures and narrower easements (less land) than comparable AC lines. This will result in less acreage affected by the new line, less effect on the way farmers and ranchers use their land, and less visual impact.