Shorting out?

Power-line deal crippled by SMUD’s pullout

The controversial TANC transmission-lines project isn’t dead yet, but it’s on life support. That’s because last week the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, its biggest backer, announced it was pulling out of the deal to build 600 miles of new transmission lines that would have sliced down the Sacramento Valley.

SMUD was in for 35 percent of the $1.5 billion cost, so its pullout has dealt the project a crippling blow. SMUD spokeswoman Elisabeth Brinton told the Sacramento Bee the utility had withdrawn because “the overall project isn’t strong enough to justify spending additional money on scoping and planning.”

TANC is the creation of a consortium of 15 public-utility districts, from Redding to Santa Clara, that seeks to transmit renewable energy from as-yet-unbuilt solar, wind and geothermal generators in Lassen County to the Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley.

TANC canceled public hearings scheduled this week in Glenn County and Redding. Opponents in Redding announced they would be rallying anyway on Wednesday (July 8) in front of City Hall.