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San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) Sunrise Powerlink transmission line was officially dedicated during a ceremony Thursday at the new Suncrest Substation, which is a key component of the Sunrise Powerlink.

The 117-mile, 500 kV transmission line will carry clean energy from solar and wind farms in California's Imperial Valley to San Diego and enable SDG&E to increase the amount of renewable power it delivers to customers.

SDG&E has signed eight power contracts for more than 1 GW over the past several years for solar and wind energy in Imperial County. Two of these projects are now under construction.

After a five-year environmental review and permitting process, SDG&E broke ground on the project in December 2010. On June 17, the transmission line was fully energized and control was officially transferred to the state's transmission grid controller, the California Independent System Operator.

"While the Sunrise Powerlink will serve as a major conduit for renewable energy in the near future as those solar and wind projects are constructed and put into service, this transmission line is providing this region with real benefits right now," says Jessie J. Knight Jr., CEO of SDG&E. "With a major power plant in Southern California currently out of service, the Sunrise Powerlink is playing a major role in boosting electric reliability and alleviating potential energy shortages."

The Sunrise Powerlink also features six miles of underground 230 kV cable and a 40-acre, 500 kV transmission substation.

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