San Diego Gas & Electric Co. has proposed a $1.3 billion, 150-mile superhighway of electricity known as Sunrise Powerlink. A month of hearings on the controversial power line began Monday with only expert witnesses taking the stand. The proceedings will study whether there are more affordable alternatives and the California Public Utilities Commission will decide in January whether to permit the project. San Francisco Bay Area electricity expert witness David Marcus will make the case that the power line is not needed. The NCTimes.com reports:
On Aug. 3, the company plans to release a report examining the project’s likely impact on the environment and backcountry communities, said Jennifer Briscoe, a spokeswoman for San Diego Gas & Electric, in a phone interview. That report will trigger another round of commission hearings. “During the first phase (this month), evidence will focus mostly on the question of the need for the proposed new line,” said Terrie Prosper, a commission spokeswoman in San Francisco, by e-mail.