Friday, July 08, 2005

Schwarzenegger dedicates transmission line

Because electricity cannot be stored, one of the greatest obstacles to maximizing its use is having transmission lines to get it from generation plant to users. In San Diego, transmission is now less of a worry.

The governor joined San Diego Gas & Electric to celebrate a new transmission line that the utility said would save ratepayers $50 million over the course of the first year and help ward off summer brownouts.

The $45 million line, which runs from a substation south of the Sweetwater Reservoir near Chula Vista into Mission Valley, has been in operation for a month, already saving the utility $7 million.

"That's what I call a great investment," Schwarzenegger said.

SDG&E has grappled with congestion on the Southwest Power Link, a major power transmission line from Arizona into San Diego. That link ends at the substation near the reservoir.

But because the line narrowed at that point, San Diegans often could not take advantage of lower-cost imported power, said Ed Guiles, SDG&E's chairman and chief executive.