Controversy surrounds Sunrise Powerlink dedication ceremony

ALPINE (CNS) – Gov. Jerry Brown joined federal, state and local officials Thursday to dedicate the Sunrise Powerlink at the Suncrest substation in Alpine as opponents of the new transmission line stage a protest nearby.

The new 117-mile line, which connects San Diego with the Imperial Valley, was put into service June 17 after a five-year environmental review and permitting process and 18 months of construction of the overhead and underground technology, according to SDG&E.

Opponents of the $1.9 billion project cited concerns about property values, views and safety. A group of protestors from several groups, including the Protect Our Communities Foundation, planned to gather before the dedication on the south side of Interstate 8 at Japatul Valley Road to demonstrate.

SDG&E officials said the transmission line would enhance the area's reliability and facilitate renewable energy development in the region. Sunrise Powerlink will deliver a significant amount of wind and solar power from projects in Imperial County.

The line could initially bring 800 megawatts of imported power into San Diego and will eventually carry 1,000 megawatts of power, enough energy to serve 650,000 homes, SDG&E said.

Back-county residents contended the transmission lines were out character with their rural community and could create health and fire hazards.


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