Panel Seeks Disapproval of Cross-Border Transmission Line

By Published On: August 26, 2011

The Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee voted 6-2 on Aug. 25 to approve SJR 13, a resolution calling on the U.S. Department of Energy to deny Sempra Energy a permit to construct a cross-border power line between Mexico and San Diego County. The line would tie a Mexican wind development area co-owned by Sempra and BP into the transmission system operated by San Diego Gas & Electric, a Sempra subsidiary. DOE must approve cross-border transmission projects. The panel approved the resolution--which has no binding impact and is strictly exhortatory--at the urging of the California State Association of Electrical Workers. The labor organization prefers to see wind power and other generation and related transmission lines built in California rather than Mexico in order to create in-state jobs. The California Public Utilities Commission is considering a request by SDG&E to build a new substation in East San Diego County to tie the Mexican wind power zone into its grid. Mountainous east San Diego County and the adjacent region in Mexico are considered a burgeoning wind resource zone where many projects are being planned.

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