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Sempra Mexican Wind Project Would Bring Power To U.S.

Audio

Aired 1/22/10

Three energy projects are proposed for an area of southeastern San Diego County and just across the Mexican border. One proposal would send renewable energy from Mexico to a substation in Boulevard.

Three energy projects are proposed for an area of southeastern San Diego County and just across the Mexican border. One proposal would send renewable energy from Mexico to a substation in Boulevard.

Sempra Energy's project called Energia Sierra Juarez includes a transmission line that would cross the border into southeastern San Diego County and connect with the existing Southwest Powerlink transmission line and a new substation proposed by San Diego Gas and Electric.

The project would import renewable energy generated at a proposed wind farm in northern Baja.

Art Larson with Sempra Energy said only renewable energy would be transmitted via the powerline.

Larson said several permits are pending for the project with Mexico's Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

"You need a Presidential Permit for the one-mile U.S. segment of a three-mile powerline that will ultimately connect the Energia Sierra Juarez project with SDG&E's proposed east county substation," said Larson.

Larson said the project also requires a Major Use Permit from San Diego County for the U.S. portion of the line.

"And the county has indicated that it will rely on the (California) Public Utilities Commission's environmental quality act document in order for the county to make the determination necessary for the issuance of that permit," said Larson.

The first steps to evaluate the environmental aspects of the project come next week with public hearings in Jacumba and Boulevard.

The hearings also consider two other energy projects proposed in the same area.

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