September 3, 2014 (Jacumba) – “It’s impossible to gauge the size of this substation from this photo. It’s huge,” Wayne Brammer writes of the still-under-construction ECO substation project that SDG&E is building in rural Jacumba.
By Miriam Raftery
August 30, 2014 (Jacumba Hot Springs)—Two agave roasting pits found recently in Jacumba Hot Springs have been carbon-dated, indicating Kumeyaay Native American occupation in the Jacumba region dates back at least 9,000 years. Termed “an astounding recent archaeological find” by the Imperial Valley Desert Museum in Ocotillo, the agave roasting pits were unearthed during construction of SDG&E’s ECO substation project in San Diego’s East County.
Howard Cook, chair of Jacumba Hot Springs Sponsor Group (the town's advisory planning board) believes the find should have impacts on future develoment projects pending in the area.
“This is highly relevant to the proposed Jacumba Solar project located next door and sharing roads with the under construction Eco project,” he told East County Magazine. “Certainly this calls for a cultural monitor and perhaps some preliminary excavating of the proposed site by [an] historical society and Native American historical/cultural experts."
NEXTERA PLANS SOLAR FARM IN JACUMBA ON FORMER BP SITE; SOITEC SHELVES SOME BOULEVARD PROJECTS...FOR NOW
By Miriam Raftery
NextEra hopes to build its solar farm close to SDG&E’s new substation, continuing the industrialization of rural Jacumba Hot Springs.
August 10, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – For planners and residents in East County, keeping track of proposed industrial solar projects has begun to resemble a tiresome game of Whack-a-Mole: one vanishes and another pops up in its place.
April 14, 2014 (Boulevard) – In response to a complaint filed by Donna Tisdale, the California Public Utilities Commission has instructed San Diego Gas & Electric Company to make repairs to a torn, flapping construction fence at the Boulevard substation site along state scenic highway 94.
Flawed Water Supply Plan for Electric Substations Results in Request to Revoke Planned Projects
By Sharon Penny; photo by Wayne Brammer
March 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--During one of the worst droughts in San Diego County history, a backcountry group has filed a complaint against San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) regarding its flawed water supply plan for construction of its ECO Substation (photo, left), Boulevard Substation, and 14 miles of new 138KV line.
Backcountry Against Dumps (BAD), a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending groundwater-dependent communities from environmentally unsafe facilities and projects, is seeking an order against SDG&E, contending that the company violated a mitigation measure (MM HYD-3) that would directly impact eastern San Diego’s already strained water supplies. The complaint was filed with the California Public Utilities Commission (CUPC) and asks the CPUC to rescind SDG&E’s water supply plan and permit to construction the ECO substation project, among other actions.
February 15, 2014 (Jacumba)—Wayne Brammer sent in these photos of SDG&E’s new Eco Substation in Jacumba. The project is (so-named for hooking up to industrial-scale renewable energy projects. But to most backcountry residents, the project is an ecological disaster that destroyed the landscape and used three times more water (90 million gallons total) than SDG&E estimated.
“This thing is a monster and they’re wasting water all over the place, not just here but all the way to Boulevard,” writes Bramley, referencing other energy projects in the pipeline. “We really do need to separate from the city and have our own county,” he concluded, linking back to a reader’s editorial on this issue.
Canines identify dozens of sites in path of wind and power line projects
Wind developers “cooperate” with tribes on searches-- but SDG&E refuses to allow dogs on its ECO-Substation site
Story by Miriam Raftery
Photos by Tom and Nadin Abbott, Miriam Raftery, and Jim Pelley
July 18, 2012 (McCain Valley) – Weaving across cactus-studded terrain in McCain Valley, Piper, a border collie trained to find ancient human remains, pauses to sniff the ground. Ears erect, he sits, alerting handler Lynne Engelbert, who records the GPS coordinates. (Click video to view.) Minutes later, Piper’s find is independently confirmed by a second search dog.
June 24, 2012 (San Diego) -- The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) this week approved San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) East County (ECO) Substation Project, a development that involves two electric substations along SDG&E's Southwest Powerlink transmission line.
By Cynthia Wharton
February 2, 2012 (Jacumba)- - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) held a public participation hearing at the Jacumba Highland Center on January 24.
Presided over by an administrative law judge, the honorable Hallie Yacknin, this hearing provided an opportunity for interested members of the public to express their views on San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) application for a permit to construct the East County Substation Project (ECO Substation).
CPUC TO HOLD HEARING IN JACUMBA JAN. 24 ON ECO SUBSTATION AND NEW TRANSMISSION LINES PLANNED FOR BOULEVARD
January 19, 2012 (Jacumba) – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and assigned Administrative Law Judge Hallie Yacknin will hold a hearing in Jacumba on January 24. The public may testify with comments on SDG&E's proposed $285 million 60-85 acre ECO Substation and 13 miles of new 138kV transmission lines planned for Boulevard.
The hearing will be at Jacumba Highland Center, 44681 Old Highway 80 in Jacumba on Tuesday, January 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. View hearing notice.
February 20, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – The California Public Utilities Commission and U.S. Bureau of Land Management have extended from February 16 to March 4, 2011 the deadline for public comments on a draft environmental impact report and draft environmental impact statement (DEIR/DEIS) for several controversial and inter-related energy projects proposed for the Jacumba and Boulevard areas.
“It simply is not prudent to introduce new projects into an area that is already prone to wildfire and will also reduce the ability of fire fighting agencies…”—Congressman Duncan Hunter, on impacts of the proposed Tule wind energy and Sunrise Powerlink transmission line projects
“Sempra’s track record does not show that it will develop or manage the Baja California wind energy resources properly.” – Congressman Bob Filner
By Miriam Raftery
February 14, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego) have sent letters to federal and state regulatory agencies voicing serious concerns over several major energy projects proposed in East County.
Tule Wind, ECO Substation and Energia Sierra Juarez energy/transmission proposals
February 10, 2010 – The California Public Utilities Commission invites public comments on three major energy projects proposed for East County. SDG&E maintains the projects are necessary to meet future energy needs, but some backcountry residents want to pull the plug on the proposals, citing potential fire danger and environmental damage.
September 3, 2009 (San Diego)—San Diego Gas & Electric Company has announced plans to develop a new ECO Substation and electrical infrastructure in East County that the company says will connect with its existing power network and enable delivery of clean energy to its customers. The move has drawn praise from key alternative energy interests, but some backcountry residents see the move as a ploy to ease the way for SDG&E to bring power up from Mexico and tie into the company’s controversial planned Sunrise Powerlink project.