Frequently asked questions about the Sunrise Powerlink, energy issues, and more.
Can San Diego meet it’s future energy needs without the Sunrise Powerlink?
- Yes. Improved local energy conservation and increased efficiency in San Diego would eliminate the energy reliability gap cited by SDG&E to justify the Powerlink. Simple measures like installing efficient air conditioning systems and replacing incandescent bulbs by 2012 could significantly reduce peak energy demand. (Source: Bill Powers, Border Power Plants Working Group)
- In addition, SDG&E has already proposed the addition of 250 MW of “peaking” turbines by 2008. This step alone would eliminate much of the emergency “power gap” calculated by SDG&E to justify the Sunrise Powerlink. Furthermore, simple upgrades to existing energy infrastructure can further boost San Diego’s energy supply and eliminate the need for the Powerlink. (Source: SDG&E Press Release, May 14, 2007)
Do we need the Sunrise Powerlink in order to have clean renewable energy in San Diego, and to meet California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)?
- No. Renewable energy goals can be met by existing transmission lines, as conceded under oath by Jim Avery, a Senior Vice President of SDG&E. (Source: Craig D. Rose, San Diego Union-Tribune, “Powerlink’s supply called into question,” July 11, 2007)
- Additionally, local renewable energy resources are available in San Diego. This has been confirmed by a 2005 report partially funded by SDG&E entitled, “Potential for Renewable Energy in the San Diego Region.” (Source: San Diego Regional Renewable Energy Study Group, “Potential for Renewable Energy in the San Diego Region,” August 2005)
Does the Sunrise Powerlink pose a fire hazard for San Diego County?
- Yes. Experts have testified that normal operation and maintenance of the Sunrise Powerlink line may incur “negative public health and safety impacts as well as large unanticipated costs to the public, public lands, and ratepayers due to one or more wildland fires accidentally ignited.” (Source: Phase I Direct Testimony of the Mussey Grade Road Alliance Fire Analysis – Economic Impacts, May 31, 2007)
- Accidental ignitions are many and include ignitions from construction, aircraft collisions, bird collisions, downed lines, illegal campfires, target shooting, hunting, and arson along and from access roads. (Source: Phase I Direct Testimony of David Hogan on Behalf of Conservation Groups, June 1, 2007)
- In addition, firefighting efforts are hampered near transmission lines, both on the ground and in the air, thus enabling a fire to grow in size. During a recent brush fire in east San Diego County, CDF stated that powerlines created an initial hazard in fighting the fire. (Source: Michelle Clock and Greg Gross, San Diego Union-Tribune, “Residents flee from blaze,” May 23, 2009)
Is the Sunrise Powerlink cost-effective and beneficial to ratepayers?
- No. In evaluating the Sunrise Powerlink project, the independent consumer watchdog group, Utility Consumer’s Action Network (UCAN) noted that SDG&E has “exaggerated” the need for this project, has “understated its costs,” has “ignored reasonable alternatives,” and has engaged in a “systematic scheme to mislead the public. (Source: “UCAN Testimony on Overview of Technical Testimony, SDG&E Misinformation and Alternatives,” June 1, 2007)
- Furthermore, the Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA), the arm of the California Public Utilities Commission that advocates on behalf of public utility customers, maintains Sunrise is clearly not needed to meet any of its stated objectives, including the critical goal of providing reliable service in San Diego. DRA is not convinced that Sunrise is the best alternative for meeting such goals, or even that Sunrise’s benefits will exceed its costs. (Source: Division of Ratepayer Advocates)
What is the current route of the Sunrise Powerlink?
- Click on the maps below for the current route. Warning: These are large files. Each map shows a portion of the route. If you would like a more detailed map near a specific address, you can write to SDG&E at SunrisePowerlink@SDGE.com. Please keep in mind that the Sunrise Powerlink affects more areas than those that it runs through. It will increase fire risks across San Diego County, will increase our reliance on foreign fossil fuels, and will be a blight on our beautiful backcountry lands. If the Southern Route is built, SDG&E’s next step is to run lines north through Descanso, Julian, Santa Ysabel, Warner Springs and other points, in order to connect with lines in the Greater L.A. area. Please see this map for future transmisson lines.
- Imperial Valley – Imperial Valley section
- Jacumba/Boulevard – County line to Jacumba and Boulevard, including McCain Valley
- Campo North – North of Interstate 8 and La Posta and Manzanita Reservations
- Campo – South of Interstate 8, near Campo and Hauser Wilderness
- Japatul Valley/Lyons Valley/Cleveland National Forest – From Campo to Barrett Lake, Lyons Valley, Carveacre, Japatul Valley, including the substation near Bell Bluff
- Alpine – Star Valley, Alpine Blvd, Puetz Valley and Chocolate Summit
- Lakeside – El Capitan Reservoir, El Monte Valley, Lakeside, Wildcat Canyon
- Miramar – Route 67, San Vicente Reservoir, Rancho Encantada including substation at Sycamore Canyon