15. October 2008 02:49
For tens of thousands of San Diego back country residents turning on a radio, light or TV may not be that easy when the Santa Ana winds begin to blow. This controversial proposal comes on the heels of CalFires/CPSD investigation which blames SDG&E for 2 of the horrific firestorms of last October.
SDG&E wants to amend wording in "Rule 14" so they can turn off the power when necessitated by safety or emergency concerns. (their wording)
I attended the CPUC public comments hearing regarding San Diego's 2007 wildfires. While this hearing was a bit smaller than previous hearings regarding SDG&E's Sunrise Powerlink proposal it did bring together some key players such as Dianna Jacobson, State Senator Christine Kehoe, Michael Shames and others.
A lot of good arguments were brought up before the commission. One of my favorites was "SDG&E wants to run power through our communities and not to our communities." This was in reference to SDG&E proposing to cut off power in the back country during high wind situations.
Obviously SDG&E does not want a repeat of last years devastating firestorms and this seems to be the quick solution. Maybe we all need to step back and ask ourselves ,"Is the fire prone San Diego backcountry a place to string powerlines?" I will tell you what, let's maintain the lines we have, don't add any new transmission lines and help home owners become energy self-sufficient by passing Bills such as AB 1920 (see below).
AB 1920: the California Solar Surplus Act of 2008 would allow solar system owners to sell surplus electricity at the full retail rate to other utility customers. Currently this surplus is basically given away back to SDG&E who in turn can turn around and sell it.