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San Diego Gas & Electric’s proposed Sunrise Powerlink won’t be built as it was originally proposed through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

California Public Utilities Commission officials came out with two proposed decisions for its commissioners to consider:

  • An administrative law judge, Jean Vieth, recommended rejecting the Sunrise Powerlink altogether, saying the line is not needed for SDG&E to meet its renewable-energy goals nor to ensure reliability until 2014.
  • Dian Grueneich, a public utilities commissioner, recommended approving a 123-mile southern route for the line around Anza-Borrego, on the condition that SDG&E agrees to deliver “substantial amounts” of renewable energy from Imperial Valley on the line.

The five-member commission can take up either proposal when it decides the project’s fate in December.

The news deals a blow to SDG&E’s publicly stated case for the power line. The company had argued that the $1.2 billion was necessary to keep San Diego’s lights on and to meet immediate renewable energy goals. But both recommended decisions from the CPUC counter that.

Both the judge and Grueneich concluded that SDG&E does not need the line to meet goals for providing 20 percent of its electricity by 2010 from renewable energy sources. Doing so would not be economical and “will potentially generate significant ratepayer costs,” Grueneich said.

Still, SDG&E could ultimately get what it wants. The line would help SDG&E meet an eventual goal of providing 33 percent renewable energy, Grueneich found.

We’ll have more soon.

ROB DAVIS

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