SDG&E's search for "missing link" continues
PowerLink or "Missing Link?"
A recent documentary video by the group Clean Skies, which is funded by the natural gas lobby, gives a fairly unbiased look at SDG&E's efforts to promote the "Sunrise PowerLink." The video (featured below) actually quotes an SDG&E spokesperson referring to the Sunrise Transmission Project as the "missing link," but a quick look at the facts are enough to make Charles Darwin shudder.
If you've studied the Sunrise PowerLink and visited our Web site, you know that the PowerLink is an over-priced backward technology designed to thwart the region from achieving meaningful energy independence. Like the original "missing link" it must either evolve or perish.
The Sunrise PowerLink has other things in common with the original "missing link," too.
It is primitive and backward: Despite its thin veneer of high-tech splendor, Sunrise is a primitive solution from the last century that deserves to go extinct. The modern model of energy generation is called "distributed generation." With distributed generation, energy is drawn from many small locally generated sources such as photo-voltaic solar panels on residential rooftops. Distributed generation is critical to America's energy independence. And that's why SDG&E doesn't like it, because it can't be controlled. SDG&E's prefers centralized power. Specifically, an outdated Soviet Union style monopoly where power is controlled, generated, and sold by one big central organization. The old model isn't just a missing link, it is a dinosaur.
You may recall that the original missing link also harnessed fire. SDG&E on the other hand, has been found guilty of starting fires. Lots of them.*
And finally, just as Neanderthal man was a threat to the wildlife (note the big horn sheep skull in the rendering above) so too, is SDG&E. Environmentalists aren't opposing simply because it is an environmental hazard, but also because there are no guarantees that the line will be used to transport green energy. None. In 1984, SDG&E promised to import green energy over the South West Power Link and never honored its promises.
The missing link is very costly.
As this documentary shows, the Sunrise PowerLink is an unnecessary multi-billion dollar boondoggle. In it you will hear UCAN's Executive Director, Michael Shames, describe it as "Remarkably, mind-numbingly, jawdroppingly expensive." How mind-numbingly expensive? At more than two billion dollars for a 119 miles of line, it will cost $16.8 million per mile, or about $265 an inch.
Will you miss the Missing Link?
*In fairness, it should be noted that if built, the Sunrise PowerLink is not expected be much of a fire hazard, but it is also fair to say that unlike the missing link, SDG&E has had trouble with fire.