SDG&E begins constructing powerloop around San Diego
52-mile transmission belt to improve reliability, lower costs

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Eddie Van Herik

San Diego Gas & Electric

(877) 866-2066


        SAN DIEGO, March 8, 2006 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) this week began construction of the west leg of a 52-mile transmission project that will create a loop around the San Diego region designed to provide more reliability and access to a proposed power plant in the Otay Mesa area.

        The Otay Metro Powerloop will connect the cities of San Diego, National City, Chula Vista, Santee and unincorporated areas of San Diego County. Approximately 10 miles of the new line will be underground, with the remaining portion placed on new or existing poles within SDG&E’s utility corridor.   SDG&E will work to minimize any disruption caused by construction. 

        “SDG&E adds about 20,000 new customers a year, and electricity use by our current customers is growing as well,” said James P. Avery, senior vice president, electric, SDG&E.  “We need to strengthen our transmission highways to ensure that our customers have the energy they need, both now and in the future.”

        The project will cost approximately $210 million and is being funded by all California energy consumers.  SDG&E customers will pay about 10 percent of the total cost.  It is anticipated the entire project will take 18 months to complete.

        Once the powerloop is operational, SDG&E customers are expected to see significant savings because of improved access to more efficient electricity sources, as well as enhanced ability to route power through San Diego County.

        The powerloop will connect the Otay Mesa power project to two electric substations to the north.  The west leg of the project will begin construction this week in Linda Vista in areas around SDG&E’s Old Town substation.  Construction activities will then proceed south through downtown San Diego.  The transmission line will continue south through National City and Chula Vista before swinging east to the proposed power plant.

        Construction will take place at several locations along its route simultaneously and the line is scheduled to be in service by the summer of 2007.  The California Public Utilities Commission approved the construction of the project and issued an environmental impact report.  Several federal, state and local agencies, community groups and individual property owners took part in that process.  SDG&E will follow all applicable laws, construction requirements and design guidelines to reduce exposure to electric and magnetic fields (EMF). 
        SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.3 million electric meters and more than 825,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.  The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles.  Exceptional customer service is a priority of SDG&E as it seeks to enhance the region’s quality of life.  SDG&E is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).  Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.  To learn more, go to