From the daily archives: Monday, June 18, 2012

117-Mile, 500,000-Volt Transmission Line Will Support Electric System Reliability This Summer

SAN DIEGO, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today announced that it has completed and put into service the Sunrise Powerlink, a 500,000-volt transmission line linking San Diego to the Imperial Valley, one of the most renewable-rich regions in California.

The completion of the nearly $1.9 billion project culminates a rigorous, 5-year-long environmental review and permitting process and 18 months of construction that encompassed both overhead and underground technology as well as different climates and rough, remote terrain.  The Sunrise Powerlink was the subject of an extensive regulatory review – a collaborative effort involving SDG&E and a number of state and federal agencies – considered to be the most comprehensive study of a proposed transmission power line in state history.

“Putting the Sunrise Powerlink into service is the final milestone in a complex and challenging energy project that ranks among the largest and most significant in the history of San Diego Gas & Electric,” said Jessie J. Knight, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of SDG&E. “Design, planning, construction and implementation of the project required scores of public hearings, detailed construction schedules to accommodate a wide array of environmental regulations and coordination of thousands of helicopter flights to ferry crews and material to the construction sites along the route.”

Capable of bringing initially up to 800 megawatts of additional imported power into San Diego, the Sunrise Powerlink will play an especially important role this summer, as the line was originally designed to do.  The transmission line will eventually carry 1,000 megawatts of power, or enough energy to serve 650,000 homes.  SDG&E and the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO), the agency that manages most of the statewide grid, consider the Sunrise Powerlink one of the important mitigation measures that will help maintain electric reliability during heat waves without power from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

“The timing for completion of this important new transmission artery could not come at a more critical time,” said Steve Berberich, president and chief executive officer of the ISO.  “Sunrise Powerlink is more valuable today than when it was conceived because of the significant reliability benefits it brings helping to compensate for the loss of power from the San Onofre power plant this summer.”

The Sunrise Powerlink consists of more than 110 miles of overhead 500kV and 230kV transmission towers and conductor, 6.2 miles of underground 230kV cable and a 40-acre, 500kV transmission substation, which reduces the voltage for use by homes and businesses.  More than 4.7 million work hours were required to complete the project – the equivalent of 2,260 people working 40 hours per week for a year.  Because nearly 75 percent of the tower locations required helicopters to set the tower structures for environmental reasons, it took more than 28,000 flight hours to complete the aerial construction.

“Keeping this project on budget and on schedule by reducing our construction timeline from 24 months to just 18 months is a testament to our employees and all those who worked on this major endeavor,” said Michael R. Niggli, president and chief operating officer of SDG&E. “I am proud of their diligence, dedication and commitment to safety. I also extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to those who live and work in and around the various construction areas for their patience and understanding during this process. ”

In the near future, the Sunrise Powerlink will deliver a significant amount of wind and solar power to San Diego.  Over the past three years, SDG&E has signed eight renewable agreements for more than 1,000 MW of solar and wind power from projects in Imperial County; that green energy will be transmitted across the Sunrise Powerlink.

By 2020, 33 percent of SDG&E’s power will be derived from renewable resources.  In 2011, more than 20 percent of SDG&E’s electricity was obtained from renewable energy.

“This vital infrastructure project and the construction jobs that were created as a result have revitalized the Imperial Valley region, which has experienced high unemployment for years,” said Imperial County Board of Supervisor Gary Wyatt.  “The Sunrise Powerlink, which now provides the pathway for local renewable energy projects, enables us to develop Imperial County’s abundant renewable energy resources while also preserving our natural resources and native habitat.”

 

BY THE NUMBERS – Sunrise Powerlink construction highlights:
 

  • 13,200 tons of steel = total weight of all 438 transmission structures. (By comparison, the Coronado Bay Bridge contains 20,000 tons of steel.)
  • 1,135 miles of overhead high-voltage wire = from end to end would reach from San Diego from San Antonio.
  • 438 tower foundations = concrete used would cover an entire football field to a depth of 12 feet.
  • 1.3 million cubic yards of earth was moved during construction = enough to fill the Empire State Building.

 

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles.  SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day.  SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.

For more on the Sunrise Powerlink, please visit our photo and video page

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110106/MM26476LOGO)

SOURCE San Diego Gas & Electric

Source: PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1eW6m)

 

Congressman Bob Filner applauded Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar’s announcement that San Diego and Imperial Counties will receive a total of more than $4 million under the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program which reimburses local governments for supporting nontaxable Federal land.  San Diego will receive $1,106,359 for 490,830 acres and Imperial County will receive $3,291,433 for 1,383,997 acres.

 

“This shows President Obama’s commitment to making sure our counties aren’t shortchanged when it comes to the Federal land in their jurisdictions” said Congressman Filner. “This program is very important to making sure services to Federal lands are reimbursed and I will fight to ensure it continues.”

 

PILT program eligibility is reserved for local governments that contain nontaxable Federal lands and provide vital government services, such as public safety, housing, social services and transportation.  These jurisdictions provide significant support for national parks, wildlife refuges and recreation areas throughout the year. PILT seeks to compensate them for their support and foregoing tax revenue from these Federal lands. A full list of funding by state and county is at http://www.doi.gov/pilt.

 

This year’s PILT program is the last to be funded under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which enacted a five-year authorization for funding full entitlement levels of the program. The 2013 budget proposes a one-year extension of the current PILT program, maintaining the existing formula for calculating payments to counties – considering acreage, population and prior year revenue payments.

 

Local Weather Alert

Excessive Heat Warning for Imperial County, CA

From 10:00 AM PDT, Mon., Jun 18, 2012 until 8:00 PM PDT, Mon., Jun 18, 2012


Issued by The National Weather Service
Phoenix, AZ

Mon, Jun 18, 2012, 3:45 AM PDT

Local Temperature Map

Updated Jun 18, 2012, 9:05am PDT

… EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM MST /10 AM PDT/ THIS MORNING TO 8 PM MST /8 PM PDT/ THIS EVENING… … EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY MORNING THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING… … EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH THURSDAY EVENING…

AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT TODAY… FROM 10 AM MST /10 AM PDT/ THIS MORNING TO 8 PM MST /8 PM PDT/ THIS EVENING.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PHOENIX HAS ALSO POSTED AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH FOR WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY. THE EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCHES WILL BE IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM MST /10 AM PDT/ UNTIL 8 PM MST /8 PM PDT EACH DAY.

* AFFECTED AREA… EAST-CENTRAL… SOUTHWEST… AND SOUTH-CENTRAL ARIZONA DESERTS AND LOWER DESERTS OF FAR SOUTHEAST CALIFORNIA. CITIES INCLUDE… THE PHOENIX METRO AREA… YUMA… EL CENTRO… CASA GRANDE… WICKENBURG… PARKER AND BLYTHE.

* TEMPERATURE… HIGHS OF 110 TO 115 DEGREES. THE FORECAST HIGH TEMPERATURE AT PHOENIX SKY HARBOR AIRPORT IS 113 DEGREES TODAY… WEDNESDAY… AND THURSDAY.

* IMPACTS… TEMPERATURES THIS HOT WILL MAKE WORKING OUTDOORS CONSIDERABLY MORE DIFFICULT. HEAT STROKE WILL BE MORE LIKELY FOR THOSE ENGAGING IN STRENUOUS OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. THE HEAT CAN CAUSE UNDUE HEALTH DIFFICULTIES TO THE ELDERLY AND THOSE WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN POSSIBLE… RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR LATE EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE. WEAR LIGHTWEIGHT AND LOOSE-FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. IF YOU WEAR A WIDE-BRIMMED HAT… YOUR HEAD AND BODY WILL BE MUCH COOLER.

TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK… THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY… CALL 9 1 1.

 
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