Hear the companion radio feature about opposition to the Sunrise Powerlink at The California Report, starting Friday morning.
By Ruxandra Guidi
The road that takes you from the sleepy town of Boulevard into the path of the Sunrise Powerlink is a dusty, unmarked path that’s a couple of miles long. It ends at a gate without a sign, where a guard stands in the hot midday sun. He knows to keep any unauthorized visitors away; there’s a party going on inside, while the protesters make noise for hours outside.
No one yet knows what the Sunrise Powerlink will end up looking like, and at what cost — and that’s just two of the main issues people have with it. Opponents of the giant network of powerlines, towers, and substations, say it will run for 120 miles, through delicate ecosystems and fire-prone areas. Its impact on local residents and wildlife will be irreparable.
On the other hand, SDG&E says its “superhighway” for transporting electrons from remote solar and wind farms to coastal population centers, will respect state and federal lands and go around delicate areas of the desert; that it will generate much-needed jobs while meeting state goals for green energy development. In the process, the California Imperial Valley is being touted as a so-called “mega-region;” a showcase for clean energy production. Continue reading