Wednesday, August 08, 2007

San Francsico Heding Its Bet On Green Energy.

Supporters call it a necessary back-up to San Francisco’s existing transmission line; detractors call it “pouring money down a transmission rathole.” Either way you look at it, San Francisco is now one step closer to a 53 mile, $500 million, 400 MW transmission line form Pittsburg to the city, as the Board of Supervisors voted 9-2 to give it the go-ahead.

The Trans Bay Cable still needs regulatory approval from various state agencies and its cost will be borne by ratepayers.

Opponents of the measure fear that the project will undermine San Francisco’s much-publicized efforts to rely entirely on renewable energy because the cable will transmit power from fossil fuel plants in the East Bay. Supporters argue that, by 2011, demand for electricity in San Francisco is projected to be 988 MW during peak hours, and the capacity is needed.

Keep in mind that this is San Francisco we’re talking about. No doubt, the Supes were sensitive to environmental impacts of a 53 mile cable through ecologically sensitive parts of the bay, and they certainly were aware of the blow this would deal to the city’s quest to go green, yet they voted overwhelmingly in favor of the project. That speaks volumes about the current state of viability of renewable energy.

Supes approve 53-mile Trans Bay power cable [San Francisco Chronicle]