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Green Energy Is Coming To San Diego Via Sunrise Powerlink

Apr 2, 2008
Green energy. You've heard people talk about it for years. Even the heavy industry types are beginning to get the message that it's time to "go green." But the move to green power by public utilities has long been a lagging indicator. In San Diego, this is changing fast.

Through SupportSunrise, a public initiative launched to help bring green, renewable energy to San Diego right now, elected leaders, government officials, and ordinary citizens are mobilizing to make it happen. Together they are is promoting Sunrise Powerlink as the practical solution to the region's rapidly expanding energy needs. Green energy is coming to San Diego and SupportSunrise is leading the way.

San Diego's growth over the last few years has been constant, yet the last new transmission line was constructed in 1983. In that time, the population has grown 60% and the demand for energy has more than doubled. By 2010, the region will demand more power than can be produced locally or imported over existing transmission lines. The region's two power lines are already seriously overburdened, sometimes causing rolling blackouts. This puts both San Diego's economy and its high quality of life at risk. Companies and businesses can compete effectively only if their growing energy requirements are met.

SupportSunrise helps the public, including big and small business, understand how the Sunrise Powerlink can ensure have access to the energy they need. And clean, renewable, sustainable energy at that.

It's an interesting and timely approach. And it doesn't take a wizard to see it as key to the future of greater San Diego. Not only does it clean air make a city more livable, but it keeps the engines of economy running smoothly. To make change happen, you need to reach a tipping point. San Diego is almost there. Government, industry, and individual citizens are now working together get there. SupportSunrise was developed to just that--and to do it quickly. If it works, it will become a model not just for California but greater metropolitan areas from Houston to Paris, from Pittsburg to Dublin. The specifics may differ, but the commitment to finding real solutions will be the same.

Why is the Sunrise Powerlink such a good idea?

"The 1000 megawatts of renewable energy Sunrise Powerlink will bring to our grid eliminates up to 7 million tons of greenhouse gas," says Allan Zaremberg, President, California Chamber of Commerce, "that [otherwise] would be emitted if this needed energy were generated by fossil fuel."And that's just for starters. The idea is to move the public from thinking about green energy as idealistic and erratic--something that will become practical in the far off future--to seeing it as practical and ready to be implemented right now. The right way. And with no more waiting.

Sunrise Powerlink is a practical way to ensure the uninterrupted supply of "clean" electricity. The projected 150-mile transmission line will provide a steady source of clean power to the entire region. At the same time, it will improve the reliability of Southern California's electric transmission grid. This will protect against future power outages and blackouts.

The new transmission line will also limit the need to build more conventional power plants that emit greenhouse gas emissions. A cleaner energy future requires more renewable solar and wind energy power. In fact, by the year 2010, California utilities like San Diego Gas & Electric must, by law, derive 20% of their energy supplies from clean, renewable resources.

The Imperial Valley, just east of San Diego, is home to vast supplies of untapped renewable energy, including wind, solar and geothermal. The Sunrise Powerlink, once completed, will expand access to these energy sources and help meet aggressive goals for renewable energy use.

The Sunrise Powerlink has been debated, studied, analyzed and graded. The proposed electric transmission line--that will serve as the energy superhighway for the region--continues to rise to the top of the class as the best of all the alternatives to meet the future energy needs of San Diego and southern Orange counties. Energy needs to be clean, reliable and affordable if the region's economy is to continue its growth.

The Sunrise Powerlink transmission line will dramatically improve the reliability of the state's electric transmission grid by reducing congestion on existing lines, which means fewer outages. Demand will soon outstrip supply unless new sources of energy are added to the grid.

Energy-consuming appliances, from wide-screen TVs to laptop computer chargers, along with robust housing development in inland areas where air conditioning prompts a spike in summertime electricity continue to proliferate. This means alternative energy sources must be found and sustained. Solar power and wind power can help, but it will take practical efforts for distribution like Sunset Powerlink--and the efforts of groups like SupportSunrise that support them--to ensure a reliable supply of clean energy.
About the Author
Martin Grossman writes frequently on clean energy, renewable energy, alternative fuels, and a host of environmental topics. He is part of the management team at RichContent.tv headquartered in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington.
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