Matt Louv 5 p.m., May 23
Powerlink proving importance in San Onofre's absence
San Diego Gas & Electric is boasting about the successes of its 117-mile Sunrise Powerlink, stating in a June 18 release that the $1.9 billion transmission line is proving even more valuable than expected given the demise of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
“It not only adds another major transmission artery to our local transmission grid, it is bringing a significant amount of imported power to our region during the summer months to compensate for the loss of power from [San Onofre],” says SDG&E CEO Jessie Knight.
The utility says that it has signed 36 contracts with renewable energy providers since 2011 that are now in development, including a controversial contract with a company called Sol Orchard. It’s unclear whether this number includes deals which have fallen apart due to actions by SDG&E to renegotiate purchase agreements after they’ve been executed, paying energy providers less or charging them more to connect to the grid.
Several solar and wind projects are under construction in Imperial County, east of San Diego, and will use Sunrise to transfer power to the region once they are up and running.
SDG&E claims in its statement that about 20 percent of energy distributed in 2011 and 2012 was generated from renewable sources, and that it expects to meet or exceed the state’s requirement to generate 33 percent of power from renewable by 2020.