12/18/09: ME CA transmission lines approved, bumpy roads, no more Candu reactors

Friday, December 18, 2009


The PUC (press release) has approved Bangor Hydro's 42-mile 115 kV electric transmission line between Ellsworth and Harrington, noting that the line will improve the reliability and increase grid capacity in Hancock and Washington Counties. BHE projects construction to run from 2011-2012. An order will follow soon.


The Cal. PUC has approved construction of the last component of So. Cal. Edison's $1.8 billion Tehachapi project transmission lines required to interconnect new wind capacity with the grid. Construction will start in 2010, with the line expected to be energized in 2014.


The AP reports that counties and towns are letting paved roads revert to gravel to save money -- a good example of reevaluating just how good an infrastructure we're willing to buy.

Ottawa announced that it will privatize the nuclear power unit of Atomic Energy of Canada -- the maker of the Candu reactors. Ontario was the primary market for Candus, but this summer the province declined to order more Candus due to cost -- even though Ontario is phasing out coal-fired electric power. Areva, Hitachi, and Westinghouse/Toshiba are potential buyers, all of whom are more likely interested in AEC's market, not the Candu design.

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