A huge project to import wind energy from the Tehachapi Mountains is generating an unwanted byproduct in Chino Hills – anger. A lot of people are upset by the construction of large power lines.
The project will run right through the middle of their neighborhood.
For years, Keith Cerwinski of Chino Hills and his family enjoyed spending time in their beautiful backyard. But now, they are forced to look at a 200-foot power pole.
“I don’t think words can describe how angry and upset I am that a big corporation can do this to people,” Cerwinski said. “This probably dropped the value of my house 10 to 20 percent I’ve been told by realtors.”
Cerwinski isn’t alone.
“Not only is it ugly, but it’s going to be tons of voltage running right through there,” said Susan Kearney of Chino Hills.
“Can you imagine if that were to fall down?” another resident said.
The city of Chino Hills fought to have Southern California Edison build the towers along a different route – through a state park – but Mayor Ed Graham says it was a losing battle.
“It’s a monopoly. They have that right of way, which we don’t object to, but to put this size of pole in such a tiny right of way, it’s dangerous, it’s corporately irresponsible,” Graham said.
But SoCal Edison denied that the poles were dangerous.
“Edison has a solid record of building its facilities. It’s engineered toward safety and maintenance of the towers,” said Lydia Roman of SoCal Edison.
The California Public Utilities Commission also sided with SoCal Edison, saying in a statement that “there are overriding statewide values which outweigh the community values of Chino Hills.”
The project will bring 4,500 megawatts of renewable energy, which is enough to power three million homes.
Still, for residents of these homes, the benefits aren’t as easy to see.
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