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The Washington Post visited Boulevard, in East County, for an examination today of what the Sunrise Powerlink fight means for a country — and new president — hoping to increase deployment of renewable energy.
The Post’s story begins:
The late afternoon light is shining golden on the high chaparral as Donna Tisdale stands near a faded 1800s ranch house, scans the unblemished surrounding hills and sees trouble on the horizon.
“The ridge right there will have turbines on it,” she says, squinting west into the setting sun. Turning north and east, where a pristine ridgeline meets the sky, she points out the route of a $1.9 billion electricity transmission line whose 150-foot towers will march 123 miles from the Imperial Valley to energy-thirsty San Diego. …
The three-year fight over the Sunrise Powerlink, which is designed to carry solar, wind and geothermal energy, typifies the serious challenges facing President Obama and many of the nation’s governors as they tout the power of renewable energy to put people to work and rescue the planet from the effects of climate change.
The nation’s richest resources of renewable fuel — primarily wind and solar — lie in distant deserts, vast plains, and remote valleys and hilltops like this one, far from the populous cities where energy is most needed. Thousands of miles of new power lines will be required to bring renewable energy to cities and suburbs, a vast undertaking that will cost untold billions of dollars in public and private money and will require compromise by dueling interest groups and people such as Tisdale.