SDG&E and County of San Diego Help Kids and Seniors Stay Cool During Hot Summer Months

Community, Customer Programs, General

More than 100 Cool Zones open through October 15

During the hot summer months, staying cool isn’t just a matter of comfort, it is one of safety too, especially for seniors in the East County. SDG&E is again partnering with the County of San Diego’s Aging and Independence Services to provide Cool Zones throughout San Diego where residents can go when temperatures start to rise.

The more than 100 air conditioned locations will not only be a place to cool off but it will help residents reduce their energy bills by giving them a break from turning on home air-conditioning units.

“This also helps reduce our region’s total energy consumption which is vital this year as San Diego will have to go yet another summer without power from SONGS,” said Frank Urtasun, regional vice president of external relations.

Additionally, eligible community members will have the opportunity to sign up onsite for SDG&E Customer Assistance solutions including our CARE program, which provides income qualified customers with a 20 percent monthly discount on their utility bill and the Energy Savings Assistance Program, which provides no-cost energy efficiency home upgrades.

A list of locations is available at SDG&E’s Cool Zones website which includes a map where residents can search for the nearest site. The sites will be open through October 15.

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Rule 21 Interconnection Process Fast Track

A Year Later, SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink Delivering on What it was Designed to do

General, Sunrise Powerlink

In Addition to Boosting Reliability to the Grid, the Transmission Line is also a Catalyst for Renewable Power Production and Economic Benefits

SAN DIEGO, June 17, 2013 – One year after San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) energized and put into service the 117-mile Sunrise Powerlink transmission line linking San Diego to the renewable-rich Imperial Valley, the positive impact of this infrastructure project is enormous not only to the San Diego region, but also to the state of California.

When the Sunrise Powerlink was energized June 17, 2012, it instantaneously brought additional imported power into the San Diego region.  The transmission line played a pivotal reliability role last summer without the 2,200 megawatts (MW) of generation that the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) provides to the region, and will again be one of the most important mitigation measures helping to maintain electric reliability without SONGS during high customer demand this summer.

“The Sunrise Powerlink is more valuable and helpful to our region and beyond today than when it was originally envisioned,” said Jessie J. Knight, Jr., chairman and CEO of SDG&E.  “It not only adds another major transmission artery to our local transmission grid, it is bringing a significant amount of imported power to our region during the summer months to compensate for the loss of power from SONGS.”

“Sunrise was originally put in place to bring green energy to market and it is more than exceeding expectations in bringing solar power to load centers in Southern California,” said California Independent System Operator President and CEO Steve Berberich.  “And now with the loss of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, it is also proving to be critically important in maintaining reliability.”

The Sunrise Powerlink allows an abundance of renewable energy production in the Imperial Valley to be delivered to SDG&E as California pursues its ambitious renewable energy goals.  Since 2011, SDG&E has signed 36 renewable contracts that are now in development, totaling nearly 1,750 MW of generation capacity.  When these projects are fully operational, they will produce enough clean energy to power approximately 750,000 homes and offset more than 300,000 cars from our roads.

Of these contracts, ten renewable projects - equivalent to more than 1,200 MW - are located in Imperial County.  Pattern Energy’s 265 MW Ocotillo Wind project connected to the grid just this past December and Tenaska’s Imperial Solar Energy Center South was energized in April.  Several more solar projects are under construction in Imperial County and are expected to be energized later this year and next year.  Additionally, the NRG Borrego solar project located in San Diego County started commercial operation last February.

“These contracts, particularly the ones connected to the Sunrise Powerlink, have helped us achieve a cleaner, more sustainable regional energy profile which benefits both our community and communities around the state and region,” said Michael R. Niggli, president and chief operating officer of SDG&E.  “In both 2011 and 2012, SDG&E delivered more than 20 percent renewable energy and we are well on our way to meeting or exceeding the state’s 33 percent goal by 2020.”

The Sunrise Powerlink has also spurred a new economic boost to the region by creating thousands of direct jobs, injecting billions of dollars in renewable energy investments, and providing needed local tax revenues.  More than $2 billion in construction spending and more than 2,000 jobs, including 529 direct hires from throughout the Imperial Valley, have resulted thus far from the renewable projects under construction in Imperial County.  In addition to the construction jobs, these contracts have also generated demand for a local source of photovoltaic solar panels.  Soitec, the French solar panel company, which recently opened a photovoltaic manufacturing facility in Rancho Bernardo, is ramping up production to meet demand.  Soitec will eventually employ 450 local green jobs at peak production.

“Imperial County, which has battled high unemployment for years, is finally experiencing a turnaround as a result of the jobs created by all of the renewable development,” said Imperial County Board of Supervisor and Chairman Ray Castillo.  “While creating an electric connection between San Diego and Imperial Counties, the Sunrise Powerlink is also providing our region an opportunity to showcase our abundant renewable resources.”

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 860,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles.  SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day.  SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.  Connect with SDG&E’s Customer Contact Center at 800-411-7343, on Twitter (@SDGE) and Facebook.

For more on the Sunrise Powerlink, please visit our photo and video page.



SDG&E's Sunrise Powerlink

New UCSD Lab Joins Ranks of SDG&E’s Sustainable Communities Champions

Environmental, General, Renewable Energy

The new UC San Diego Marine Ecosystem Sensing, Observation and Modeling (MESOM) laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography has been named to San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) impressive list of Sustainable Communities Champions. The award was presented to UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla at the building’s grand opening ceremony on June 14.

The new 40,000-square-foot MESOM building will become a national and international resource for marine ecological research for Scripps and other ocean science organizations that address ecosystem-based management.

The building was designed to bring together Scripps scientists from multiple disciplines to develop new sensors that will provide the data needed to integrate observations and predictive models of California’s nearshore waters and coastal ecosystems and their responses to climate change.

MESOM is the 3rd Sustainable Communities project at UCSD

Funded in part by a $12 million award from the U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology, the building is the third SDG&E Sustainable Communities Program project at UC San Diego and the 38th to be completed in the region overall.

“Not only does this project have renewable energy, but it was also designed and constructed to be 15 percent more energy efficient than required by California building codes,” said Pam Fair, chief environmental officer and vice president of environmental and operations support for SDG&E. “As a result, this project is seeking LEED® Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council, an impressive accomplishment.”

As part of the Sustainable Communities Program, SDG&E installed a 61-kilowatt solar panel system on the building’s rooftop and a 6kW/10kWh battery energy storage system. The energy produced at this facility will go directly onto the grid to provide clean energy to the surrounding community. The renewable energy produced by the solar panels on site represents the environmental equivalent of powering 40 homes and preventing 128,246 pounds of CO2 equivalents from entering the atmosphere each year. 

Additionally, SDG&E is working with UC San Diego on a comprehensive education program to influence occupant behavior. The program includes a touchscreen showcasing the green features of the building, and “lunch and learn” events to inform building occupants how to be energy efficient and sustainable.

About SDG&E’s Sustainable Communities Program

SDG&E’s Sustainable Communities Program advances and promotes the use of clean energy generation technologies within the San Diego region. The program strategically integrates utility-owned generation systems, such as photovoltaics and advanced energy storage with sustainable building projects to provide energy to the grid. All these systems are maintained, and operated by SDG&E. To date, these 30 plus projects contribute a combined total of over 4 megawatts (MW) of locally generated, renewable power to the community.

As part of the Sustainable Communities Program, SDG&E installed a 61-kilowatt solar panel system on the rooftop of the new UC San Diego Marine Ecosystem Sensing, Observation and Modeling laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography
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Pam Fair, SDG&E Chief Environmental Officer and Vice President of Environmental and Operations Support, speaks at the grand opening of UC San Diego’s MESOM laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
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San Ysidro Library

M 9:30am - 6:00pm, T, W 11:30am - 8:00pm, Th, F, Sat 9:30am - 6:00pm, Sun Closed


101 W. San Ysidro Blvd.
92173 San Diego, CA
United States
32° 33' 9.45" N, 117° 2' 39.5916" W

Otay Mesa-Nestor Library

M 9:30am - 6:00pm, T, W 11:30am - 8:00pm, Th, F, Sat 9:30am - 6:00pm, S 12:30pm - 5:00pm


3003 Coronado Ave
92154 San Diego, CA
United States
32° 34' 37.1712" N, 117° 4' 6.8448" W

Imperial Beach Library

M,W 9:30-8pm, T,TH 9:30-6pm, F,Sat 9:30-5pm


810 Imperial Beach Blvd.
91932 Imperial Beach, CA
United States
32° 34' 35.0004" N, 117° 6' 58.6152" W

Otay Ranch Town Center Library (near the Food Pavilion)

T-Th 11-7pm F,S 12:00-6pm


2015 Birch Rd
91915 Chula Vista, CA
United States
32° 37' 25.0104" N, 116° 58' 14.052" W

South Chula Vista City Library

M-Th 10-8pm F,S 10-5pm Sun 1-5pm


389 Orange Ave
91911 Chula Vista, CA
United States
32° 36' 7.992" N, 117° 4' 8.2416" W

Civic Center Library

M-Th 10-8pm F,S 10-5pm Sun 1-5pm


365 F St.
91910 Chula Vista, CA
United States
32° 38' 26.0196" N, 117° 4' 57.2484" W


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