Though the controversial Sunrise Powerlink project is nearing completion, opponents of the project say they do not intend to give up.
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The final tower section has been placed on a new $2 billion electric superhighway that was built to bring more power to San Diego. San Diego Gas & Electric's 117-mile transmission line is nearly complete despite years of protests and heated meetings.
Among the concerns surrounding the project is safety. On two occasions, the sky crane helicopter dropped 15,000-pound tower sections. About 79,000 people are trying to pull the plug on the project, fearing the line will cause wildfires.
Laura Cyphert leads the East County Community Action Committee.The group is taking aim at the Bureau of Land Management with a federal lawsuit, which will be heard for the first time on Thursday.
"It's going to cost ratepayers an enormous amount of money and just from an economic standpoint, I'm very saddened for San Diego," she said.
SDG&E says the project is necessary, now more than ever. Construction was kicked into high gear after reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station were taken offline in January.
"There were some key things that needed to happen to bring more reliability to San Diego this summer and the Sunrise Powerlink was a key component to those plans," said Jennifer Ramp, who is with SDG&E. "Having this energized in mid-June would bring us more reliability and more power for San Diego when the temperatures heat up this summer."
The line will power 650,000 homes and will be energized in mid-June.
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