Geothermal, Project Development, Wind Power

Transmission Line to Channel Alternative Energy

Sunrise Powerlink is a proposed transmission line that will provide access to available and anticipated electricity from clean, renewable energy resources such as solar, geothermal and wind power produced in the Imperial Valley and eastern San Diego County.

It will also improve the reliability of the electric transmission grid for the region between San Diego and Imperial Counties, importing power for about 650,000 San Diego Gas & Electric customers in Southern California. “By tapping into the developing renewable energy market in the Imperial Valley, we can improve our overall system reliability and the environment at the same time,” said Edwin A. Guiles, SDG&E’s chairman and chief executive officer. The Sunrise Powerlink will dramatically increase SDG&E’s electricity import capability and provide more options to handle the power needs of the region — especially when electricity is in high demand. “If the Sunrise Powerlink had been in service, it likely would have helped avoid last week’s transmission emergency,” said Guiles. A former member of the California Energy Commission, David Rohy, recently co-authored a study noting the need for additional transmission infrastructure and the potential for renewable energy development in the San Diego and Imperial Valley regions. Industry forecasts show that, by the year 2010, SDG&E customers will require more energy than can be produced locally or imported on existing electric transmission lines. The transmission project will help SDG&E meet its renewable energy goals to have 20 percent of its electricity come from renewable sources by 2010. SDG&E officials are offering a public outreach program to let customers help in the route selection process. “We want to work with community groups, elected officials, local, state and federal agencies and members of the public in an open and collaborative process so the route selection for the Sunrise Powerlink is truly a regional effort,” said Guiles.