State regulators deem SDG&E's sunrise powerlink application 'complete'

Formal regulatory enviromental review of project to begin

Sep 11, 2006

Media Contact:
Stephanie Donovan

San Diego Gas & Electric

(877) 866-2066


        SAN DIEGO, Sept. 11, 2006 – The process to approve, license and build the Sunrise Powerlink electric-transmission line took another major step forward with approval to begin the formal regulatory review of the project.

        The California Public Utilities Commission’s Energy Division notified San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) Friday that the utility’s application and environmental assessment for its proposed 150-mile line from Imperial Valley to San Diego is considered complete, according to the regulatory agency’s requirements. 

        “This determination is significant because the Commission now has the information it needs to begin its evaluation and independent environmental assessment of the project,” said James P. Avery, SDG&E’s senior vice president-electric.  “We will continue to provide more information as needed throughout the process, such as additional details for alternatives the Commission may develop as part of its environmental studies.”

        After SDG&E submitted its amended project application and environmental assessment Aug. 4, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requested clarification of some of the data included in that filing.  While the utility had up to 60 days to comply, SDG&E responded with the requested information in 15 days.

        “These kinds of data requests from the CPUC are typical for all infrastructure applications filed by all utilities, especially for a project of this size and complexity,” said Avery.  “As the Commission moves forward with its environmental review of the project, we expect additional requests for data and clarification.  The assessment that our application is now complete, however, allows us to stay on track to meet our proposed in-service date of June 2010 when the line is needed to help ensure energy reliability for our region.”

        The Sunrise Powerlink not only will improve energy reliability for local homes and businesses, but also will deliver clean energy from renewable resources to help the utility meet statewide renewable energy goals, and will reduce overall energy costs for customers, according to SDG&E officials.

        The next step for the project is the CPUC’s prehearing conference and public participation hearing set for Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 4 p.m. at the Charles Nunn Performing Arts Center, Olive Pierce Middle School, 1521 Hanson Lane, Ramona, Calif.  At the meeting, the CPUC is expected to set the Sunrise Powerlink procedural schedule for the next year, and will gather public comment on SDG&E’s proposal.

        San Diego Gas & Electric 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.  The utility’s service area spans 4,100 square miles and serves customers in more than 125 communities from Southern Orange County to the Mexican border.  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