SDG&E Plans Transmission Upgrades For Orange County

Renew Grid, Monday May 21, 2012 - 12:49:48

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) says it has filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for approval of a project designed to increase the reliability of the substation and transmission system in the northern part of the utility's service area.

SDG&E submitted an application for a certificate of public convenience and need, as well as an extensive environmental assessment that analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project.

The upgrades - dubbed "The South Orange County Reliability Enhancement project" - would be located within the cities of San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente and the unincorporated areas of Orange County.

If approved, the project would allow SDG&E to upgrade the existing transmission lines that connect the substations in San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente by replacing an existing 138 kV transmission line with a new 230 kV double-circuit line. Most of the transmission line work will be conducted within SDG&E's existing right of way.

The utility would also rebuild the 1950s-era 138 kV/12 kV substation and build a new substation in San Juan Capistrano to improve the reliability and capacity of the region. The Capistrano Substation provides electric service to the majority of customers in San Juan Capistrano. In addition, existing 138 kV transmission lines at SDG&E's substation in San Clemente would be reconfigured.

The California Independent System Operator approved the project last year as part of SDG&E's 2010/2011 Transmission Plan. If the project is approved by the CPUC, construction could begin in 2013, with completion expected in 2017.

"The energy demand in Orange County has more than tripled over the last 26 years," says Michael R. Niggli, president and chief operating officer at SDG&E. "By upgrading our transmission and substation infrastructure in this area, SDG&E not only will increase reliability, but also provide additional capacity and flexibility for meeting our customers' needs."

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