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SDG&E unveils proposed route for cross-county power line

SAN DIEGO – San Diego Gas & Electric announced Monday its proposed route for the Sunrise Powerlink, a 120-mile transmission line to bring electricity from the Imperial Valley into San Diego County by 2010.

The route begins at an SDG&E substation in Imperial County and runs northwest, crossing Interstate 8 and continuing through the desert to state Route 78 south of Borrego Springs.
San Diego Power Line


From there, it runs to the west along 78 for a bit, then turns northwest again to run along county Road S2 near San Felipe before turning south near Lake Henshaw. It crosses 78 once again, passes Ramona to the south, and then roughly parallels state Route 56 on its path to an existing substation south of 56 and just east of Interstate 5 in Sorrento Valley.

Company officials said the project, estimated to cost up to $1.4 billion, would enable SDG&E to import about 1,000 megawatts of electricity – enough to power an estimated 650,000 homes – from Imperial County.

San Diego County needs the new line to provide a reliable source of added electricity, and to draw on abundant renewable energy sources in Imperial County that are unavailable in San Diego, said SDG&E Vice President James P. Avery.

“The (San Diego County) population over the last 20 years has more than doubled, but we've added virtually no infrastructure,” Avery said. “We need to look at the future.”

It also would help SDG&E meet state... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
The route begins at an SDG&E substation in Imperial County and runs northwest, crossing Interstate 8 and continuing through the desert to state Route 78 south of Borrego Springs.
 
San Diego Power Line


From there, it runs to the west along 78 for a bit, then turns northwest again to run along county Road S2 near San Felipe before turning south near Lake Henshaw. It crosses 78 once again, passes Ramona to the south, and then roughly parallels state Route 56 on its path to an existing substation south of 56 and just east of Interstate 5 in Sorrento Valley.
 
Company officials said the project, estimated to cost up to $1.4 billion, would enable SDG&E to import about 1,000 megawatts of electricity – enough to power an estimated 650,000 homes – from Imperial County.
 
San Diego County needs the new line to provide a reliable source of added electricity, and to draw on abundant renewable energy sources in Imperial County that are unavailable in San Diego, said SDG&E Vice President James P. Avery.
 
“The (San Diego County) population over the last 20 years has more than doubled, but we've added virtually no infrastructure,” Avery said. “We need to look at the future.”
 
It also would help SDG&E meet state requirements to draw at least 20 percent of its energy from such renewable resources as the sun, wind and geothermal sources by 2010, Avery said.
 
Currently, about 6 percent of SDG&E's power comes from renewable sources.
 
“There's no doubt in my mind that it's needed today,” he said.
 
Because it is a state electricity project, the cost of the new line would be borne by electric ratepayers throughout California, with San Diego County ratepayers picking up about 10 percent of the cost, Avery said.
 
Even so, the plans are not without controversy. SDG&E's press conference announcing the proposed route, held at the Doubletree Golf Resort in Rancho Peñasquitos, was picketed by about a dozen Rancho Peñasquitos residents and others opposed to the project.
 
Avery said about four miles of the line will be buried underground as it runs through Ramona and Rancho Peñasquitos, at a cost about five times higher than the conventional approach of stringing the lines from utility poles.
 
Another controversial aspect of the project involves Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
 
In making their announcement Monday, SDG&E official laid out two alternate routes for the line, one which runs further north and east from its Imperial County starting point, and another that runs further to the west before turning northwest.
 
All three routes run through the park.
 
The next step for the utility company is to submit the proposed routes – along with an environmental assessment for each – for approval by the state Public Utilities Commission. That's expected to take place later this year.
 
Meanwhile, the utility is continuing to hold community meetings to hear the public's comments on the proposals, Avery said. He said two such meetings were scheduled Monday in San Diego and Ramona, with nine more planned in San Diego and Imperial counties.
 



 


Source: http://www.signonsandiego.c...

MAR 20 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1803-sdg-e-unveils-proposed-route-for-cross-county-power-line
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