Artesian Substation Project Expansion
Our mission is to provide our 3.6 million customers with clean, safe and reliable energy. To do this, we continue to modernize and upgrade existing substations and infrastructure so our customers get the reliable energy they deserve. In October 2019, we’ll start work on the Artesian Substation expansion project which, once complete, will improve reliability and the integrity of our electric system for communities in northern inland San Diego. These communities have experienced sizeable growth in the past decade and are forecast to grow even more over the next ten years. Additional residents and businesses mean a greater demand on existing power lines.
About the project
Given the load growth over the past decade in the north San Diego inland area, increased demand for energy has created congestion on the existing power lines causing strain on the electric system. The new substation will support projected regional electric load growth, which is anticipated to increase by as much as 15% within the next ten years. The expansion will help increase system capacity and reliability for the north San Diego inland area.
The Artesian Substation project includes expanding the substation in San Diego's Del Sur community. It'll also re-conductor existing power lines and make minor enhancements to two nearby substations to provide greater reliability for customers. The Artesian Substation will be upgraded to run more efficiently. We’ll also replace equipment inside the substation and aging underground infrastructure along the surrounding streets. This vital infrastructure improvement will improve California’s power grid and ensure our region remains resilient and prepared for the increasing amount of renewable energy we continue to deliver.
This project was designed using mostly existing rights-of-way to minimize impacts to the community and the environment. We’re committed to working with our communities during construction so that this project can be completed with as little impact as possible, while providing added reliability to this growing inland region.
Frequently Asked Questions
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) granted San Diego Gas and Electric® (SDG&E) a Permit to Construct the Artesian 230kV Substation Expansion Project on Camino Del Sur in the community of Del Sur/4S Ranch. The project includes modifying the Bernardo and Rancho Carmel Substations and replacing around 2 miles of transmission lines. Environmental reviews were done after the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). A Proponent’s Environmental Assessment and Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration were conducted to evaluate the potential impacts of the project. You can find these documents on cpuc.ca.gov/environment/info/esa/artesian.
Most of the work will take place at the Artesian Substation located on SDG&E-owned property on Camino Del Sur in the Del Sur community of San Diego. Just outside the Artesian Substation, SDG&E will connect an existing 230kV transmission line approximately 200 feet into the substation.
The 69kV transmission line reconductoring will take place along 2.2 miles between the Artesian Substation on Camino Del Sur and the Bernardo Substation on Rancho Bernardo Rd. in Rancho Bernardo, 4S Ranch and Del Sur. Most of the overhead line work will take place in SDG&E easements, generally paralleling Camino Del Sur, Camino Del Norte and Rancho Bernardo Rd. There will be small sections of road work on Camino Del Sur between Maranatha Drive and Babcock Street, and Rancho Bernardo Rd. between Camino San Bernardo and Via Del Campo. As part of this upgrade, SDG&E will replace existing wood poles with new fire-resistant steel structures as needed and remove some of the poles from service.
Also, minor modifications are required at the Bernardo Substation in Rancho Bernardo and the Rancho Carmel Substation on Innovation Drive in Carmel Mountain Ranch to accommodate the power line enhancements.
Construction started in May 2020 and will last around 22 months. Hours of construction will be from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Construction will happen intermittently in phases along the approved route and activities in a specific area may not be completed concurrently. There will be multiple construction locations and activities taking place at the same time with work hours, traffic control measures and noise restrictions for each area dictated by local jurisdictions. Night work in some areas may be required. Construction dates are subject to change with compliance requirements, inclement weather or other unforeseen situations. Public notices will be posted as needed announcing future construction activities in affected areas.
The Artesian Substation Expansion is necessary to support the growth in the Poway, 4S Ranch, Rancho Peñasquitos, Carmel Mountain Ranch and Black Mountain Ranch communities which are expected to grow by as much as 15 percent over the next 10 years.
This Project is required to meet mandatory North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) reliability criteria and alleviate electric load congestion in the area. By upgrading the transmission network and expanding the Artesian Substation, SDGE&E will be able to help ensure safe electrical service, improve system reliability and provide more capacity to meet increased, forecasted electrical demand in the community.
The Artesian Substation, built in 2004, is a 69/12kV distribution substation on a two-acre industrial-zoned site on Camino Del Sur. Two existing 69/12kV power lines connect the substation to SDG&E’s electric grid and six distribution lines feed the local communities. The Artesian Substation will be expanded with a 230/69kV yard adjacent (east) of the existing 69k/12kV yard on SDG&E’s property. Two 230kV lines and two additional 69kV power lines will be looped into the substation.
The 69kV power lines between the Artesian and Bernardo Substations will be replaced with upgraded lines and equipment. Nineteen existing wood poles will be replaced with new fire-resistant steel poles. An additional twenty wood poles will be reframed so that existing equipment can be upgraded. The replaced poles will be about 10 percent taller than existing poles.
When designing a project, SDG&E considers many options as part of the evaluation, including cost impacts to customers, potential short-term and long-term impacts to the environment, impacts to private property and utilization of existing electric utility rights-of-way. Underground lines were considered by SDG&E as one of the alternatives for this project, but we did not select undergrounding these existing lines because customers would bear the burden of the costs. Ultimately, it was up to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to approve the proposed project and determine if the power lines should be undergrounded.
California’s stay-at-home order has categorized energy sector work as essential to continue to ensure the delivery of safe and reliable energy to our customers. SDG&E and its contractors will perform site preparation, staging yard preparation and mobilization, conductor and structure removal, foundation and structure construction, wire stringing and restoration and underground trench work.
Converting poles from wood to steel help improve the safety, reliability and integrity of our electric system. We’ve replaced around 24,000 wood poles to-date with new, fire-resistant, weatherized steel poles. The new poles are placed approximately within 10 feet of the current wood poles and are, on average, 10 feet taller than the wood poles. The wood poles will be removed after the new steel poles and equipment are in place.
One of our top priorities is providing you with safe and reliable energy which includes making improvements to our system. The below areas will be affected by the expansion of the Artesian Substation.
Location: Camino Del Sur & Carmel Valley Rd.
What to Expect
We’ll work as quickly and safely as possible and make every effort to minimize disruptions. Our work will take approximately 22 months to complete. In general, here’s what you may experience:
- Lane reductions, closures or detours primarily at the Artesian Substation site and Bernardo Substation site
- Heavy equipment such as trucks and machinery on the streets
- Excavation sites along SDG&E easements
- Temporary “No Parking” street signs
- Work-related dust or noise
Drones support clean, safe, reliable energy
SDG&E is one of the first utilities in the nation granted approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to research, test and train flight crews on Unmanned Aircrafts Systems (UAS). We use our battery-operated, zero-emission drones to get a bird’s eye view of power lines, vegetation, wildfires and construction projects like the Artesian Substation Expansion. SDG&E crews and contractors assess overhead electrical power lines using drone technology to identify locations needing repairs or improvements. SDG&E crews may need access to electric power line easements and Rights-of-Way locations on or near your property during the Artesian Substation Expansion Project. Drone-related activities may temporarily increase surrounding noise levels or dust. To learn more about our drone’s uses, visit sdge.com/drone.
SDG&E filed its Permit to Construct with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in August 2016 and received CPUC approval in July 2019. You can find SDG&E’s application and the CPUC’s environmental assessment on the CPUC website at cpuc.ca.gov/environment .
The Proponents Environmental Assessment (PEA), on cpuc.ca.gov/environment/info, is SDG&E’s environmental analysis that accompanied its Permit to Construct application.
For More Information
Please contact SDG&E’s Project Information Line