What are the Benefits?
The Pipeline Safety & Reliability Project implements state law and SDG&E’s Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan (PSEP), which was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in 2014. PSEP is part of a multi-year effort to enhance public safety, comply with new regulatory requirements, minimize customer impacts and maximize the cost-effectiveness of our infrastructure investments. The proposed new pipeline will replace the transmission function of an existing pipeline on the system.
From hot water to cooking, electric generation to mass transit, natural gas fuels our homes and businesses and is a necessary part of our daily lives. Besides implementing new safety requirements, the new pipeline will enhance the reliability of the natural gas system.
Right now, approximately 90% of the natural gas used throughout our region flows through a single transmission pipeline located near San Diego’s Interstate 5 corridor. Any disruption to that single pipeline could potentially interrupt energy service for our local customers. In such an emergency, many people would lose electricity and wouldn’t be able to heat or cool their homes.
By adding redundancy to the system, the pipeline upgrade will make our region’s natural gas transmission system more resilient and provide greater reliability. In addition, by expanding system capacity, SDG&E would be better able to respond to sharp fluctuations in demand for natural gas during the day.
As the population grows, energy policies change and new technologies come on-line, the way we use natural gas continues to evolve. In addition to implementing mandatory safety requirements, this project would increase the capacity of the system so that natural gas is available when we need it, helping with current fluctuations in demand and how we may need it in the future.
Cost-effective and clean natural gas plays a key role in advancing environmental policies. Today, SDG&E’s electric generation portfolio has zero contracts for coal and consists only of clean natural gas and renewable sources like wind, solar, fuel cell and renewable natural gas, all of which can be harnessed by energy storage technology. In the last 12 months, customers have benefitted from the carbon reductions that come with receiving more than 43% of their energy from renewable resources. Because natural gas-fired generation is needed when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing, these environmental achievements are not possible without natural gas.
Natural gas is also a key part of reducing emissions associated with the transportation sector, which contributes 55% of the greenhouse gas emissions here in San Diego. The use of clean natural gas has already helped Southern California homeowners and businesses reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to taking more than a half million cars off the road. This project will help our region build upon these gains to create a cleaner and healthier San Diego.
The Pipeline Safety & Reliability Project is estimated to generate a total economic impact of more than $639 million over the next 8 years, with $471 million of that economic activity within the San Diego region.
- Nearly 3,300 new local jobs
- More than $86 million in support for local diverse businesses
- More than $14.7 million in new tax revenue