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Estimated Savings of Proposed PowerLink Significantly Decreases

A proposed 150-mile long power line project will save California electric customers much less than originally thought. San Diego Gas and Electric wants to build the Sunrise Powerlink to improve the re

Estimated Savings of Proposed PowerLink Significantly Decreases

A proposed 150-mile long power line project will save California electric customers much less than originally thought. San Diego Gas and Electric wants to build the Sunrise Powerlink to improve the region's power supply. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

SDG&E wants to build the transmission line to bring renewable energy from Imperial County to San Diego. The company says the Sunrise Powerlink would save ratepayers nearly $450 million a year because the utility will be able to buy cheaper power. Now, the utility has revised the savings downward to $100 million. Michael Shames is with the Utility Consumers' Action Network. Shames says the project doesn't add up.

Shames: At this point there's a $60 million loss when you compare the Powerlink to building an in-basin or local generation unit. So really the powerline at this point is looking extremely uneconomic as opposed to economic given SDG&E's most recent changes.

An SDG&E spokesman says the project is economical and meets the region's need for a reliable and renewable source of electricity. Ed Joyce, KPBS News.