Friday, Oct. 19, 2007 | A regional energy study released Thursday calls for a massive increase in San Diego’s reliance on solar power as a way to supplant the need for the Sunrise Powerlink, a $1.3 billion power line proposed by San Diego Gas & Electric.
The $30,000 report, which was funded by the San Diego Foundation and authored by local engineer and Sunrise critic Bill Powers, recommends developing a $1.5 billion San Diego Solar Initiative — akin to a statewide initiative currently underway.
While acknowledging that the renewable-energy plan was “ambitious,” Powers said it would help the region increase its energy independence, reduce climate-change inducing impacts from fossil-fuel generated electricity and eliminate the need for the Powerlink.
The 150-mile power line, which is currently under consideration by the California Public Utilities Commission, is described by SDG&E as a necessary way to connect San Diego to potential renewable energy projects in Imperial County. A decision on it is expected next summer.