Citizens Transmission projects increase grid reliability, unlock access to large quantities of renewable energy, and fund new charitable programs for people living in the area.
Citizens Transmission partners with utilities across the country to develop new high-voltage transmission lines. Our projects increase grid reliability, unlock access to large quantities of renewable energy, and fund new charitable programs for people living in the area.
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Citizens Transmission established a partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric to develop and construct the Sunrise Powerlink, a 120-mile, $1.9 billion 500 kV high-voltage transmission project in Southern California. The Sunrise Powerlink line connects the City of San Diego to one of the largest sources of renewable power in the United States: thousands of megawatts of geothermal, solar, and wind resources from the Salton Sea region and Imperial County. Citizens’ profits from this project are being used to fund our Solar Homes Program, which installs solar collectors atop the homes of low income residences in Imperial County, the poorest county in California.
Citizens Transmission was recently awarded a license by the California grid operator to develop and build a 70-mile, 230 kV line in the Central Valley region of California in partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric and MidAmerican Transmission. Our newest transmission line will come online before 2022.
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The Sunrise Powerlink is a 120-mile, $1.9 billion power line that Citizens developed, financed, and built in partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric. This project received its permits in 2010 and began commercial operation in 2012. The Sunrise Powerlink has enabled SDG&E to meet three important objectives:
Improving reliability: The Sunrise Powerlink is the first new major powerline to connect San Diego’s growing population and economy to the electric grid in a quarter-century. Providing direct access to renewable resources in the Imperial Valley: Although California has established aggressive renewable energy goals, very few large transmission lines connect population centers like San Diego to renewable energy-rich areas like Imperial County. The Sunrise Powerlink enables SDG&E to import enough green energy to meet the needs of over 650,000 homes and limit the need to build more conventional power plants that use fossil fuels. Reducing costs for customers: The Sunrise Powerlink is saving consumers over $100 million per year in energy costs by limiting the need to run aging, inefficient power plants. The Sunrise Powerlink is reducing transmission congestion bottlenecks that cost customers millions of dollars in annual congestion fees.
Citizens Energy financed a large portion of this line in Imperial County, and is using 50% of its profits from this investment to assist low-income and elderly families in Imperial Country with their energy needs, such as installing free solar panels on their roofs. Read more about the Solar Homes Program.
Central Valley Power Connect
Citizens Transmission was recently awarded a license by the California grid operator to develop and build a 70-mile, 230 kV line in the Central Valley region of California in partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric and MidAmerican Transmission.
Central Valley Power Connect will provide reliable power to an underserved area whose growth is outpacing the local transmission grid. The construction will create several hundred new jobs and millions of dollars in local tax revenue. When complete, the line will transmit clean and efficient power from the Helms hydro-electric plant supporting California’s clean energy mandate to use renewable power sources for 33% of its energy needs.
As in all our projects, Citizens Transmission will use revenues from the venture to support energy assistance to the poor. The Central Valley is the site of great agricultural wealth but also contains pockets of poverty and deprivation, especially in Fresno and among migrant workers.
Centrally Valley Power Connect is projected to be completed in 2020.
Sycamore-Peñasquitos Transmission Line
Citizens Transmission has partnered with San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) to build a new 230-kilovolt transmission line that would run approximately 16.7 miles from Sycamore Canyon Substation on Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to the Peñasquitos Substation located in the Torrey Hills area.
San Diego is facing a power crunch as two generation stations face early retirement. A state task force has determined that the line is needed to insure grid reliability. The Sycamore-Peñasquitos Transmission Line will provide dependable power to the fast growing coastal area.
Citizens Transmission was picked to partner with SDG&E because of our project management experience and commitment to social responsibility. Revenues from the project will be used to fund energy assistance to low-income local residents. Despite economic growth in some areas, wages for the working poor have not kept pace and poverty has risen.
The Sycamore-Peñasquitos Transmission Line is projected to be completed in 2017.
Peter F. Smith, Chief Executive Officer
Peter F. Smith joined Citizens Energy in November 2000 as Chief Operating Officer, and was named Chief Executive Officer in December 2014. In this role he reports directly to the Chairman and President and is responsible for all aspects of Citizens' business and charitable activities. Most recently, he worked on establishing and expanding Citizens' strategic relationship with CITGO Petroleum Inc. to provide free heating oil to hundreds of thousands of low-income families, residents of homeless shelters, and Native American tribal members across 25 states. Additionally, he has led Citizens' efforts to expand its portfolio of renewable energy projects, particularly solar and wind, and develop high-voltage electricity transmission lines in Southern California to unlock vast renewable energy sources.
Prior to joining Citizens Energy, he was a Manager at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), an international strategy and general management consulting firm focused on helping leading corporations create and sustain competitive advantage. He also spent five years on active duty with the United States Coast Guard, serving as a deck watch officer aboard the 270' cutter Escanaba in Boston and Commanding Officer of the 110' cutter Tybee in San Diego. Smith holds a B.S. in economics from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He and his wife are the parents of four children.
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