Utility defends transmission line at hearings

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - Another round of public hearings is under way over San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s plans to build a $1.3 billion power transmission line that would run 150 miles from the Imperial Valley to San Diego.

The California Public Utilities Commission hearings began in San Diego and will move to San Francisco.

They are scheduled to run until early May.

SDG&E's Chief Operating Officer Michael Niggli said the line will help the utility comply with a state requirement that 20 percent of its electricity come from renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, by 2010.

The executive was pressed for details on how the transmission line will deliver on its promise of renewable energy and whether the company considered other routes.

The commission is expected to vote on the project later this year.



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