SDG&E Cleveland National Forest Project

Background

In October 2012, SDG&E requested the CPUC to allow it to perform fire hardening activities along 11 existing 69 kV power lines and 12 kV distribution lines and to relocate and underground certain electric lines within and surrounding Cleveland National Forest at an estimated cost of over $400 million.  SDG&E asserts the proposed project would increase fire safety and ensure that the electric facilities located within the national forest meet current design standards.  Specifically, SDG&E proposes to:

  • Remove and replace existing wood poles (1,384 69 kV power line poles and 720 12kV distribution line poles) with weathered-steel poles at an approximately one-to-one ratio.
  • String new overhead 69 kV power lines and 12 kV distribution lines with replacement non-specular conductors.
  • Reconfigure five 69 kV power lines and six 12 kV distribution lines, including relocation and undergrounding of certain electric lines.

SDG&E’s ratepayers are expected to pay for 100% of the project.  SDG&E did not provide an estimated rate impact in its request. 

 

DRA Policy Position

Both the need and cost of the project are not adequately addressed in SDG&E’s proposal to demonstrate benefits to ratepayers.  DRA urges the CPUC to adopt a procedural schedule that provides adequate time for discovery and analysis of the SDG&E’s proposal.DRA estimates the project will increase SDG&E customer’s rates by 1% to 2%.

In November 2012, DRA argued that SDG&E’s request does not justify the reasonableness of the nearly one-half billion dollar Cleveland National Forest project costs, consistent with law or the public interest.  DRA requested the CPUC hold public hearings to develop a full and complete record on the facts of project need and compliance with the law.

See DRA’s November 26, 2012 Protest

 

Current Proceeding Status

The project will proceed only after the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) phase is complete, which is expected by the mid-2013.

See the proceeding docket.

 

Other Resources

See the CPUC's Cleveland National Forest Project page.