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State Agency Considers Sunrise Powerlink Today

A state agency may vote today on whether to approve plans for a major electrical transmission line project.  San Diego Gas and Electric wants to build the Sunrise Powerlink to connect with renewable energy sources in the Imperial Valley. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce has more.

The California Public Utilities Commission considers three proposals: Denying the Sunrise application, approving the Southern Route along the Mexican border, and approving the Southern Route with conditions.

Those conditions include a requirement that SDG&E buy renewable energy.

State energy policy mandates that public utilities get 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2010. 

SDG&E says the Sunrise Powerlink is needed to meet that mandate.

Michael Shames with the Utility Consumers Action Network says the project isn't needed.

He expects legal challenges no matter how the PUC rules.

Shames: Oddly enough, I think it's really going to come down to the courts. Truthfully, I don't think final decision on this line will be made by the public utilities commission.

SDG&E can also appeal any PUC decision to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.


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