Electrical Power Capacity Upgrade Project


Electrical Power Capacity Upgrade Project


Project Description

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Los Alamos Field Office is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Los Alamos National Laboratory Electrical Power Capacity Upgrade Project in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Action requirements.

The EA will analyze the potential environmental effects that could result from NNSA’s proposal to construct and operate an approximately 12.5-mile, 115-Kilovolt power transmission line. The proposed transmission line would be erected on public lands within the Caja del Rio area of Santa Fe County, New Mexico (NM) on lands primarily managed by the Santa Fe National forest and with a small inclusion of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed land(see map below). From the Caja del Rio the transmission line would span White Rock Canyon onto the Department of Energy- (DOE) and NNSA-managed lands at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) within Los Alamos County, NM.

The purpose of the Proposed Action is to provide LANL with higher capacity electrical power that is reliable and redundant to meet LANL's increasing power demand for current and future national security missions.  An additional power line is required because the two existing electric power transmission lines are forecast to approach their physical capacity limit in the summer of 2021 and calendar year 2026 timeframe, respectively. 

The Santa Fe National Forest is providing support to NNSA to ensure that the environmental analysis needed for this project provides sufficient information to support the issuance of a special use permit as required for the construction of the proposed transmission line.

map of proposed transmission line
Ownership map of the Caja del Rio and the proposed transmission lines. Option 1 and Option 2 are the primary alternatives for consideration.
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