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Power lines are point of contention Robert Moreno | Sat, Aug 31 2013 12:00 PM

A proposed substation that is supposed to go to on the southwest side of the bayfront has a former Chula Vista City Council member accusing the city of breaking a promise.

John Moot said the transfer of a proposed substation is not in accordance with a 2004 agreement between the city of Chula Vista and San Diego Gas & Electric.

“We have not opposed the moving of a substation,” Moot said. “We have asked the city to enforce the memorandum of understanding and insist on a low profile design and the undergrounding of the power lines adjacent to the new substation.”

In a signed 2004 memorandum of understanding between the city of Chula Visa and SDG&E, paragraph 1.2 mentions an agreement on bayfront undergrounding.

The agreement states: “A key objective of the city is to remove all above ground electric lines and associated hardware as described herein and to underground such lines and associated hardware in the area identified in paragraph 1.3 as the bayfront. The city and SDG&E have agreed to work in concert to achieve that result as set forth in this MOU.”

San Diego Gas & Electric spokeswoman Jennifer Ramp said on Aug. 6 SDG&E made a proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission that called for undergrounding.

“In our proposal (to the California Public Utilities Commission) we proposed 4,800 feet of undergrounding at a cost of $15 to $16 million,” she said. “So we’ll be undergrounding nearly 5,000 feet of overhead 138 KV lines and 230 KV lines that the commission did approve all the undergrounding that we proposed. “

Once the commission approves the proposal SDG&E plans to start construction next year, Ramp said. The substation issue is scheduled to be heard at the California Public Utilities Commission Thursday, Sept. 5.

The substation project has an estimated cost of $145-$175 million which includes relocating the substation, putting in new equipment and underground and overhead wiring, Ramp said.

In SDG&E’s proposal, only 300 feet of the entire project won’t be undergrounded. A proposal to get the 300 feet undergrounded was rejected, said the SDG&E spokeswoman,

“The commission did not approve Mr. Moot’s proposal to underground 300 feet of line,” she said.
Moot represents the Berg family, which own 20 acres of land  across the street from the proposed substation since 1952.

Moot said the high profiled substation with an 83-foot telecommunications tower and 68-foot-tall transmission lines will be an eyesore.

“You can imagine walking from the Palomar trolley station or biking or walking along the southern bayfront and that substation is your welcoming view,” he said.

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