SDG&E's White Whale is the Sunrise Powerlink -- a 120-mile, $2 billion, transmission line that will carry renewable energy from the Imperial Valley to San Diego. The utility has been striving with everyone from the CPUC to local property owners to get the project built, and they may be touching a third rail along the way.
Eminent Domain proceedings have been initiated to seize about 80 property owners' land, citing impasses with several, and complicated ownership structures "better left to the courts." This prompted one County Supe to ask: "Why take people’s land when we don’t know for sure if this line is going to go forward?"
This is prompting the usual questions about fair value and basic property rights. Imperial County Supes support the project, though it does have opponents on numerous fronts -- San Deigo SUpe Dianne Jacobs probably foremost among them. So there are remaining doubts about whether the project will go forward despite the utility's aggressive, multi-year push. This could get interesting, and if lands are seized, re-spark what was just recently a national debate and the subject of several statewide ballot measures.
Read more in Sign on San Diego.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story inoccrectly state that Imperial CO Supes were opposed to the project. They are in fact supporters.