Wednesday, March 12, 2008 | I wish to commend Rob Davis and the voiceofsandiego.org on it’s coverage of the continuing saga of SDG&E and the Sunrise Powerlink. It’s becoming very apparent that the only source of facts on this issue is to be found within these pages. This is regretable. Today’s story, on SDG&E ‘s announcement that it projects a failure to meet the Green bench-mark comes with little surprise.

The news on Stirling Energy Systems, a Phoenix-based solar developer, though, is quite disheartening.

In my earliest memories on pollution, the carbon-based deadlies and the hope of ecological redemption held out by our exploitation of renewable and cost-effective alternative energy sources solar has always been a keystone increment in bringing to fruition the hopes and dreams of three generations who hoped to emancipate us and the planet from our slavish addiction to fossil fuels. Wind and geothermal have proved their merit on an industrial scale yet solar seems only to have made in-roads in residential applications.

As voiceofsandiego.org posters have pointed out in recent columns: having the largest solar collector in the world located in proximity to San Diego has long-term recurring benefits beyond its primary purpose. Global bragging rights, notwithstanding, the creation of an eco-tourism industry, creation of jobs and the complement to San Diego’s reputation as a profit center for cutting-edge technology all goes for naught without Stirling’s contribution to this mix.

The Sunrise Powerlink has a terrible and well-deserved public relations problem and without a healthy resolution to the problems of power inventory the full promise of economic prosperity held out by future development projects in this region is in serious question. Gaylord, Chargers, et al. What of the projected million-plus new residents the utility forecasts for the region within 10 years? How will their needs be met?

SDG&E needs a wow factor to sell the Powerlink.

I’d suggest that its support of the largest solar collector in the world might just fit that bill. One can only hope that SDG&E and its shareholders will recognize that an investment in partnership with Stirling will pay-off in dividends on many levels for years to come and contribute to our justifiable pride in San Diego being a leading, creative partner in search of global solutions rather than another of its recurring, old-fashioned burdens. Thanks to Mr. Davis.

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