Sunrise Powerlink

COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION RELEASES EMF SURVEY RESULTS FOR ALPINE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

 

Viejas announces funding for EMF measurements at school

By Miriam Raftery

February 29, 2016 (Alpine) -- The San Diego County Office of Education on Friday released a draft Survey and Exposure Assessment  or electrmagnetic fields (EMF) for Alpine Elementary School.  The study concludes that  the Sunrise Powerlink transmisison line buried on Alpine Blvd.does not pose a significant safety or health risk to the school site." The study further finds that readings in and around buildings at Alpine Elementary "while not representative of a pristine EMF environment, were within a normal range of exposures one could expect in a society with electric power."

The County study examines 94 measurements taken inside and outside the school and  cites several reasons for concluding the site is safe.

SDG&E RESPONDS TO QUESTIONS ON ALPINE ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD (EMF) LEVELS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Sunrise Powerlink (left) transmits 500 kilovolts of electricity above ground across most its its route, but was installed underground in Alpine, where it flows beneath the main street in  the rural mountain town.

February 20, 2016 (Alpine) – East County Magazine reached out to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)  after reviewing results of two studies measuring electromagnetic field (EMF) levels in Alpine. (The first study, done by an engineer and contractor, found high levels along Alpine Blvd. above the underground Sunrise Powerlink. The second, commissioned by the County Office of Education, measured levels at Alpine Elementary School.  It found relatively low levels at most places on the campus, though two outside areas nearest the boulevard were higher, one substantially so. View details here.) Those reports raised concerns among some community members about potential health risks for chlidren, though medical studies have shown conflicting results on this issue.

We asked SDG&E if it has plans to measure EMF levels at other locations, what EMF levels it would consider safe, what  fixes or mitigation might be possible, and what EMF research the company supports. Below are our questions and the answers provided by Allison Torres, SDG&E media representative:  

ALPINE POWERLINK CONCERNS SPARK RESPONSES

 

New EMF readings at Alpine Elementary have lower levels; district offers reassurance to parents

By Miriam Raftery

February 18, 2016 (Alpine) –  Alpine planners, school officials, and SDG&E have weighed in with responses to publication of meter readings that revealed high electric-magnetic frequency (EMF) levels along Alpine Boulevard, where Sunrise Powerlink high voltage lines are buried. The readings were first published in the Alpine Sun and later highlights, analysis and community reactions were published in East County Magazine and the Alpine Community Network.

BUS OUT OF CONTROL: ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES FLATTEN LIFE, CULTURE.

 
They Got This Great Idea of Putting Panels in the Desert and it Just Doesn't Work. Too Idealistic, Too Fast, Say's ECOreport founder Roy Hales.
 
By Robert Lundahl
 
Photo Credit: Sunrise Powerlink, "Who are My People?" Robert Lundahl
 
Roy L Hales is the founder of the environmental journalism web platform, The ECOreport.com. He has interviewed hundreds of environmental leaders in Government, Business, and Non-Profit spheres.He likes to get a picture also of what journalists are saying, and so he researches the field itself. Here, Roy shares his thoughts about industrial renewable energy facilities and their impacts in the Mojave Desert and beyond.

MORE EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS RAISE COMPLAINTS OVER HELICOPTER NOISE, SEEK IDENTITY OF MYSTERY CHOPPER HOVERING OVER THEIR HOMES

 

Update: A Sempra spokesperson has confirmed that these helicopters were contracted by SDG&E and that height limits were followed, but surveillance in the Jamul area is now over.

By Miriam Raftery

August 12, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Last week, we ran a story on residents’ complaints about an SDG&E helicopter that witnesses claimed was flying below legal height limits in the Descanso area. The flights, part of a surveying effort of power lines in Cleveland National Forest, allegedly caused injury to a horse that was startled by the helicopter.

SDG&E ON TRACK TO MEET 33% RENEWABLES GOAL BY YEAR'S END

 

Photo: Wind turbines in Ocotillo dwarf resident and mountains surrounding the desert town

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Jim Avery, a senior vice president at San Diego Gas & Electric Company, says the utility will meet California’s 33% renewable energy goal by the end of 2014 – six years ahead of schedule, IT San Diego reports.

ROUGH ACRES RANCH: PROPOSED CONFERENCE RETREAT, WELLNESS CENTER & CAMPGROUND IN BOULEVARD

 

Maximum occupancy of 2,600 people is twice the population of Boulevard

Hearing May 8 at Boulevard Planning Group; Comments on proposal accepted through May 12

Photo: Protest held at same site during Sunrise Powerlink groundbreaking

By Miriam Raftery

April 11, 2014 (Boulevard) – Properties controlled by the Hamann Companies entities and family are proposed for a variety of large-scale projects on McCain Valley Road in Boulevard, gateway to the McCain Valley, a federal recreation area.  None are popular with neighbors, thus far. Hamann gained approval for industrial wind turbines as part of Tule Wind and has been pushing to convert another 765 acres to industrial solar as part of Soitec’s controversial proposed projects. The site hosted the groundbreaking for Sunrise Powerlink, drawing protesters from across the county.

Now, Hamann is also seeking a Major Use Permit to construct a conference retreat and wellness center and a campground on 713 acres. At capacity, the facility could house up to 2,600 people—or more than twice the current population of the entire town of Boulevard. 

BILL POWERS COMPARES ROOFTOP SOLAR AND THE SUNRISE POWERLINK

 

Originally posted July 27, 2013 on San Diego Loves Green

By Roy L. Hales

I recently asked one of San Diego’s better known engineers, Bill Powers, a number of questions about the Sunrise Powerlink and rooftop solar energy. These are his answers.

Q&A WITH DIANNE JACOB ABOUT INDUSTRIAL SCALE WIND & SOLAR PROJECTS IN EAST COUNTY

 

Originally posted Friday, June 14 at San Diego Loves Green

(Image left: taken from Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s website)

By Roy L. Hales

June 17, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – There has been a great deal of talk about little places like Campo, Boulevard and Ocotillo ever since construction began on the Sunrise Powerlink.  There have been multiple lawsuits as environmentalists, Native Americans and other East County residents have fought to protect their habitat, ancestral lands and homes from the encroaching pace of “development.” As much of this area lies within the East County District represented by County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, I sought her perspective about what is going on.

RESPONSE TO SUPERVISOR DAVE ROBERTS' COMMENTS ABOUT RENEWABLE PROJECTS IN EAST COUNTY

 

Originally posted Saturday, June 15 at San Diego Loves Green

(Image left: courtesy East County Magazine)

By Roy L. Hales

June 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – I disagree with one of the statements County Supervisor Dave Roberts made in his recent editorial. I do not think the County Board of Supervisors is as powerless, in regard to the final decision about wind farms going onto the Federal and tribal lands in East County, as he seems to think. I suspect that, if they were willing, the Board could bring a lot of assistance to the East County residents fighting to preserve their quality of life.

ALPINE BUSINESS OWNERS FILE SUIT OVER SUNRISE POWERLINK IMPACTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2013 (Alpine)—Seven Alpine businesses have filed a lawsuit alleging that SDG&E failed to adequately reimburse business owners for losses caused by the two-year project to underground the high-voltage Sunrise Powerlink lines along Alpine Boulevard.  Plaintiffs allege that some businesses were forced out of business, while others suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.

An attorney for plaintiffs contends that SDG&E did not live up to its promises to mitigate construction impacts by limited portions of Alpine Boulevard, instead creating a “gauntlet of construction obstacles” that drove customers away.

READER'S EDITORIAL: VISIT MCCAIN VALLEY WHILE YOU CAN STILL ENJOY IT!

By Laurie Baker

December 4, 2012 (McCain Valley) -- This is a warning for those who escape to Cottonwood Campground in McCain Valley for a tranquil and refreshing experience to explore the Great Outdoors:  Your days of enjoyment are numbered.   Wind turbines will soon be invading the area just like the ones in Ocotillo.   The Sunrise Powerlink already obliterates the natural beauty along parts of the 13-mile dirt road to the remote campground.    Building 450-foot tall wind turbines a little more than 1,000 feet away from it will completely destroy its appeal altogether.  

READER'S EDITORIAL: SDG&E BYPASSES FOREST SERVICE; PERMIT REQUEST COULD SIGNAL A CLANDESTINE EXPANSION OF SUNRISE POWERLINK

Stealth project in Cleveland National Forest could cost taxpayers $1 billion; public has just 30 days to comment

By Cindy Buxton, Chair of the Forest Committee, Sierra Club San Diego Chapter

October 23, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Late last week, SDG&E filed a permit request with the California  Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and  sent an announcement to several local residents of a replacement project for five 69 kV lines which currently circle the county at the end of last week and filed the project with the CPUC.  http://www.sdge.com/regulatory-filing/3792/application-sdge-permit-construct-cleveland-national-forest-power-line

These lines traverse miles of Cleveland National Forest. Unlike the switching out of wood to steel poles that we have heard about for some time, oddly, they did not tell the Cleveland National Forest about their plans.

PLEASE review the link above and send comments to the CPUC. We have a scant 30 days to turn this around and expose SDG&E for not only gaffing off environmental quality, but probably far more important this time they are side stepping basic civil rights. Tell the CPUC they must respect the US Forest Service planning!

ALPINE PLANNING GROUP TO HOLD SPECIAL MEETING OCT. 8 ON COUNTY’S PLANS FOR ALPINE BOULEVARD

October 3, 2012 (Alpine)—The Alpine Planning Group will hold a special meeting on Monday, October 8 at 5:30 p.m. in the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Boulevard.  County of San Diego representative Michael Long will be making a presentation on why the County seeks to repave Alpine Boulevard between Tavern and South Grade Roads now rather than later.  Drainage issues will also be discussed.

“Alpine Boulevard will be torn up again, by the County, to an even greater degree than Sunrise Powerlink,” says planner Lou Russo, who urges the public to attend.  “There are options as to when and input is needed.”

AN ILL-WIND BLOWS IN OCOTILLO: HANGING THE TOWN OUT TO DRY



by Terry Weiner


August 31, 2012 (San Diego)--Ocotillo California is an apron of desert fanning out broadly from the base of the  rugged Jacumba and Inkopah Mountains, ninety miles east of San Diego and 60 miles west from Yuma Arizona. After winding down 16 miles of Interstate 8 from the agricultural town of Jacumba at 3,000 ft. to the desert floor at 500 ft., you will be treated to a view of a spectacular and relatively uncluttered Colorado Desert landscape. On a rare clear day, you can see the blue of the Salton Sea about 40 miles away. Mexico is just south on the other side of the Jacumba Mountains.

SDG&E CELEBRATES OPENING OF SUBSTATION NEAR ALPINE AND COMPLETION OF SUNRISE POWERLINK

Outside, protesters object to Powerlink and more power projects planned for region

By Miriam Raftery

July 27, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – “That snap, crackle and pop is the sound of success,’ SDG&E president and chief financial officer Michael Niggli declared, referring to the noises emanating from high voltage lines at the newly completed Suncrest Substation.

 Atop a former mountaintop blasted away for the project’s construction, Governor Jerry Brown  and former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined with energy industry executives to celebrate what they view as a milestone in meeting the state’s ambitious renewable energy goals.

PROTEST PLANNED AT SDG&E’S SUNRISE POWERLINK SUBSTATION “CELEBRATION” THURSDAY IN EAST COUNTY

 Governor Brown to be present at event

July 25, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—Opponents of Sunrise Powerlink and massive industrial energy projects proposed to tie into the line are encouraging the public to join a protest on Thursday, July 26 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE: SDG&E FAILS TO PROVIDE MITIGATION FUNDS FOR FIRE SEASON—AFTER ENERGIZING POWERLINK AND RAISING FIRE DANGER

 

By Catherine Gorka, Lakeside

July 10, 2012 (Lakeside)--Many residents of the East County /back county have received a letter from the Sunrise Powerlink Fire Mitigation Grants Program telling us about the  grant program. 

SDG&E ENERGIZES SUNRISE POWERLINK


117-mile, 500,000-volt transmission line improves electricity reliability, but increases concerns over fire safety for region

 June 21, 2012 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)  announced June 18 that it had completed and put into service Sunrise Powerlink, a 500,000-volt transmission line linking San Diego to Imperial Valley.  

“Putting the Sunrise Powerlink into service is the final milestone in a complex and challenging energy project that ranks among the largest and most significant in the history of San Diego Gas & Electric,” said Jessie J. Knight, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of SDG&E.

TRANSFORMER FIRE AT SITE OF NEW POWERLINK IN ALPINE

 Updated June 20, 2012 to include SDG&E's response

By Miriam Raftery

June 18, 2012 (Alpine) – A transformer fire broke out this afternoon at the site of the new Sunrise Powerlink, where the high voltage line had just been energized, Incident Page Network reports. 

“I can confirm that two transformers are on fire,” said Lori Bledsoe, editor at The Alpine Sun.  The transformers are taking power from the underground portion of the Powerlink and transferring the electricity into overhead lines, she added.

RED FLAG ALERT ISSUED AS OLD FIRE GROWS TO 820 ACRES: POWERLINK AND OVER 200 STRUCTURES THREATENED

 

 

 

 

Cal-Fire issues no burn proclamation for backcountry

New! View a video of the fire by Daren Sefcik, taken yesterday

Update 12:00 p.m.-- Cal Fire reports the Old Fire is now 907% and still 30% contained. "Firefighters are making good progress with the fire, however the winds have increased, which could cause problems," said Roxanne Provaznik at Cal Fire. The are continuing to patrol the fire and mop up hot spots."

MEGA-MILLIONS LOTTO WINNER IN LAKESIDE REVEALS HOT PLANS

 

By Sonny Power

April 1, 2012 (Lakeside) – “It’s a miracle!” Milt Cyphert, co-founder of the East County Community Action Coalition and winner of the Mega-Millions Lotto told East County Magazine. Cyphert purchased the winning ticket while on vacation in the Midwest to escape the Sunrise Powerlink construction by his home in El Monte Valley.  

Asked what he plans to do with his new-found wealth, Cyphert grinned, then shared an exclusive news scoop. 

“We bought stock,” he revealed. “Now my wife, Laura, and I are the majority owners of Sempra Energy-- and SDG&E.”

THIS LAND WAS YOUR LAND: EAST COUNTY SUFFERS LOSS OF OUR PUBLIC PROPERTIES

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 1, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – What are the cumulative impacts on our region from the loss of federal, state and county public lands?  In the span of just  a few short years, we’ve lost vast tracts of our most beautiful properties once set aside by the federal, state and county governments as preserves for future generations. Wildfires, budget cuts, and now, massive energy projects are destroying our region's scenic wonders. 

 East County Magazine has sent our photographers into the wilds of San Diego’s East County, as well as just over the border into neighboring Imperial County, to document the destruction of our inland treasures. 

JACOB ASKING STATE REGULATORS TO REVIEW GPS DATA AFTER SDG&E HELICOPTERS BREACH ‘NO FLY’ ZONES AROUND EAGLE NESTS--AGAIN


February 6, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) — San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob is asking state regulators to review GPS data from helicopters working on the Sunrise Powerlink transmission line after SDG&E helicopters violated “no fly” zones on three separate occasions last month. The “no fly” zones are designed to protect golden eagles during nesting season.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SDG&E WINS AGAIN; CONSUMERS AND FIRE VICTIMS LOSE


By Tom Myers
 
December 20, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) --The CPUC has approved SDG&E’s request to pass the cost of increased wildfire liability costs on to consumers.
 
Let's see...In testimony before the Powerlink was constructed, SDG&E said their
Power lines do not cause wildfire. The EIR said the Powerlink will cause wildfire during its expected life. CPUC approved the Powerlink. SDG&E changed their story and admitted they caused several 2007 wildfires in East County. CPUC fined SDG&E for lying to them, but let them proceed with Sunrise Powerlink.

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