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Home > Feature Articles > Alternative Energy Solutions

Electric Transmission Lines Needed to Relieve Transmission Congestion in SoCal

Sunrise transmission line proposed for Southern California to transmit alternative energy

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electricity transmission lines On October 2, 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) designated certain areas in California as "critical congestion areas" – all or portions of San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

After studying areas throughout the country experiencing electric transmission congestion and consulting with energy experts, DOE concluded that state and local government agencies within "national interest" corridors in the Southwest and the Mid-Atlantic areas need to identify solutions and take prompt action to address growing electricity congestion problems in these areas. During a 60-day public comment period, DOE held more than 60 hours of public meetings across the country and received more than 2,000 public comments. DOE's report addresses these comments and findings of its own analysis.

"Today's announcement by the DOE sends yet another signal to the California Public Utilities Commission that time is of the essence in approving new transmission lines, particularly the Sunrise Powerlink in San Diego County," said Bill Keese, co-chair of Californians for Clean and Reliable Energy (Cal-CARE), and former chair of the California Energy Commission. Sunrise Powerlink is a proposed 150-mile transmission line that would import 1,000 megawatts of solar, wind and geothermal energy from the Imperial Valley – enough to power more than 650,000 homes and businesses in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The California Public Utilities Commission is expected to make a decision on this transmission line next year.

Californians for Clean and Reliable Energy is a diverse group of residential consumers, small business owners and government leaders who support the Sunrise Powerlink.

Currently, the San Diego region is only connected to the state's energy grid by two transmission lines, the last one built nearly 20 years ago. The Sunrise Powerlink will add a vital new link to the state's grid, improving energy security throughout Southern California.

Sunrise Powerlink

The Sunrise Powerlink will help meet California's growing demands for electricity and limit the need to build more conventional power plants that emit greenhouse gas emissions.

The main benefits of the Sunrise Powerlink are:

  • Cleaner Energy for California — The Sunrise Powerlink will connect to the Imperial Valley - a desert area in southeast California that is rich in renewable energy resources such as solar, wind and geothermal.
  • A More Reliable Energy Grid — The Sunrise Powerlink will help secure energy reliability and protect us against power outages and rolling blackouts.
  • Lower Costs for Consumers — The Sunrise Powerlink will expand access to cheaper supplies of energy and relieve expensive transmission bottlenecks that cost consumers millions of dollars each year.
Californians for Clean and Reliable Energy
PO Box 2980
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: 866.820.6494
Fax: 916.554.3434

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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