Huge Calif. solar plant would run transmission lines through state park
A proposed solar power plant in Southern California is facing heavy opposition from some environmentalists as the plan also calls for high-voltage transmission lines to run through a popular state park. To move the power generated by 12,000 solar-thermal dishes near El Centro, Calif., to customers in San Diego, power company San Diego Gas & Electric wants to build a $1.5 billion, 150-mile high-voltage transmission line that would cut through the middle of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. “This transmission line will cross through some of the most scenic areas of San Diego,” said David Hogan of the Center for Biological Diversity. “It would just ruin it with giant, metal industrial power lines.” The Anza-Borrego section of the line would span 23 miles, with 141 towers at an average height of about 130 feet. Six other transmission-line routes were studied by state and federal regulators, but SDG&E seems set on the Anza-Borrego route. The California Public Utilities Commission may vote on the proposal by the end of the summer.