ALPINE – Opponents of San Diego Gas & Electric’s Sunrise Powerlink project plan to gather Tuesday in downtown Alpine to protest construction of the transmission line, which would run through this part of the unincorporated community.
They intend to picket the work site starting at 7 a.m., said Ray Lutz, coordinator of the group Citizens’ Oversight Projects.
“Although the project faces numerous court challenges and a new state administration, SDG&E continues to push forward with construction of a transmission line that will never be useful in the future of the region and a waste of ratepayer money,” Lutz said.
Construction of the 117-mile, roughly $1.9 billion line began late last year.
SDG&E said the undertaking is needed to bring power from solar farms, geothermal plants and wind farms in Imperial County to San Diego, with the result of making the power grid more reliable. Company officials said the project has been thoroughly studied by state and federal officials, and that it would lower costs by allowing the utility to import more electricity.
Critics maintain, among other things, that ratepayer money being devoted to Sunrise Powerlink would be better spent on more local solar-energy systems. They have filed suit against agencies that approved the project, including the California Public Utilities Commission, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the federal Bureau of Land Management.
The demonstration scheduled for Tuesday is being organized by Citizens’ Oversight Projects and other grass-roots groups.
Another protest against Sunrise Powerlink is planned for March 7 at 12:30 p.m. in front of the Sempra Energy building, 101 Ash St. in downtown San Diego, led by the East County Community Action Coalition and the Protect Our Communities Foundation
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