Thursday, December 18, 2008
California regulators have approved a nearly $2-billion, high-voltage power line that would run 123 miles into San Diego County.
The California Public Utilities Commission voted 4-to-1 in San Francisco today to approve San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s Sunrise Powerlink transmission line without conditions that it be used for renewable energy. The San Diego utility says the power line is crucial to boost its dependence on harnessing solar, wind and underground heat to generate power but has resisted binding commitments.
Commissioner Dian Grueneich dissented, saying she endorsed the line but only with requirements that SDG&E use it for renewable energy.
Grueneich: The CPUC's approval of the Sunrise Powerlink today will help pave the way toward achieving the state's aggressive environmental and energy policy goals," said Debra L. Reed, president and chief executive officer of SDG&E. "Reliable transmission infrastructure is critically needed to reinforce the region's electric system and to open up new avenues for delivering green energy to our customers.
The permitting process for the Sunrise Powerlink project was the most comprehensive ever completed for a power line in California history. SDG&E now will finalize engineering and design on the project, procure equipment and then commence construction on the 120-mile Sunrise Powerlink.
With completion expected in 2012, the $1.9 billion power line will be able to deliver as many as 1,000 megawatts of clean, green energy.