power lines

POWER TOWERS AND WIND TURBINES AS ART?

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Land of Giants sculptural power towers, © Choi+Shine

September 27, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – What if power line towers and wind turbines could be designed to resemble sculptures?  Such efforts are on the horizon, thanks to several innovative designers.

KEEP MYLAR BALLOONS AWAY FROM POWER LINES, SDG&E ADVISES

 

April 24, 2015 (San Diego)--Mylar balloons are colorful, festive decorations, however, they can also pose a safety hazard to our electric system if they’re outdoors and not securely tied down. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is urging customers to be aware of the dangers that can arise when Mylar balloons touch power lines. The metallic coating on Mylar balloons is an excellent conductor of electricity. When a Mylar balloon comes in contact with a power line, it can cause a power outage in your neighborhood, and can even spark an electrical fire.

AN ECOLOGICAL DISASTER IN THE MAKING?

 

An analysis on the impacts of energy policies and projects on the future of East County

By Jessica Richmond and Miriam Raftery

May 29, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A growing number of East County residents, fire chiefs, environmentalists and elected officials are voicing alarm over the proposed large-scale destruction of natural and scenic resources for numerous industrial-scale “renewable” wind and solar energy projects and related powerlines, substations and more.  A map reveals that East County is targeted for a disproportionate share of these projects, pushed forward by energy companies and politicians who contend such development is needed to disrupt disastrous effects of global warming and fill the regional energy gap left by closing San Onofre nuclear generation stations.

But opponents say these projects are not green or sustainable, instead setting up our region for an ecological disaster in the making. They raise some crucial questions:

How did San Diego’s East County come to be targeted for fast-tracking by federal, state and county governments to facilitate construction of so many massive-scale solar and wind projects and related transmission lines in rural, mountain and desert areas instead of urban locations where demand for power is highest? 

Why isn’t preference given to incentivize less destructive renewable options, such as rooftop and parking lot solar or small-scale wind turbines for use by residents, schools, municipal governments and businesses?

BILL WOULD LET ENERGY COMPANIES REMOVE NESTS AND EGGS, EXEMPT COMPANIES FROM PENALTIES FOR KILLING EAGLES, HAWKS AND OTHER RAPTORS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 9, 2013 (Sacramento)—Wildlife experts are reacting with outrage to AB  516, a bill in the California Legislature that would  allow energy and utility companies to obtain “take” permits authorizing destruction of birds, eggs and nest that stand in the way of electrical transmission infrastructure. 

SDG&E  was caught flying helicopters too close to protected eagle nests at least four times during construction of Sunrise Powerlink.  Those incursions in three East County locations resulted in removal of one pilot and suspension of others, as well as grounding, GPS tracking and other regulatory enforcement actions. But if this bill goes through, such activities could occur without penalty in the future.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SDG&E’S LATEST ATTEMPT TO EXPLOIT ITS MONOPOLY STATUS & CORPORATE POWER

 

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH 
“If we had free market competition, SDG&E would have to absorb the costs of the fire. Quite simply, if
they raised their rates, consumers would switch to other providers.”
 

February 17, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) -- Sempra-owned utility San Diego Gas & Electric wants “San Diego-area utility customers to pay for nearly all of an estimated $463 million in cost not covered by insurance from the catastrophic 2007 wildfires that were triggered in large part by its power lines,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. “At stake is who ultimately pays for the fire’s destruction — ratepayers or shareholders.” SDG&E wants the ratepayers to cover 95 to 100 percent of excess wildfire and related litigation costs.

READER’S EDITORIAL: ARIZONA’S FIRES REIGNITE CONCERNS OVER THE SUNRISE POWERLINK

 

By Laura Cyphert

 

June 10, 2011 (Lakeside)--As we watch the fires burning our neighbors in Arizona, we are again reminded why relying on imported power transmitted over hundreds of miles of vulnerable transmission lines, is a dangerous gamble for San Diego.