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State delays massive power line ruling

A state commissioner today issued a ruling that will delay a decision on San Diego Gas & Electric Co’s proposed power line until summer 2008 at the earliest.

A decision on the $1.3 billion Sunrise Powerlink, a 150-mile superhighway of electricity the utility wants to string between El Centro and San Diego, was scheduled to be delivered in January 2008.

However, because of new information about the project’s potential impacts that surfaced in hearings this month, Commissioner Dian M. Grueneich postponed the Aug. 3 completion date for an environmental impact report until Jan. 8, 2008. Grueneich ordered the final report to be delivered by June 6, 2008.

San Diego Gas & Electric had been hoping to begin construction on the line next spring and begin delivering power through it by summer 2010.

The 500-kilovolt line, which would wind through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and several backcountry communities, would boost San Diego County’s electricity supply by about 20 percent. The utility says it is needed to tap into so-called renewable energy sources such as solar and geothermal in the desert.

See tomorrow’s North County Times or revisit nctimes.com for more information.

North County Times

24 July 2007