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Citizens Energy & IID Break Ground on S-Line Upgrade Project

December 9, 2021

Today, Citizens Energy, the Imperial Irrigation District and its partners broke ground on a new project to upgrade IID’s 230 kV S-Line, one of the district’s major transmission lines, in an effort to maintain reliable energy service while boosting the ability to import and export power.

Currently, the line serves as the primary path for the import and export of power through IID and into the California and Arizona energy markets. Stretching 18-miles, the S-Line’s transmission network connects the Imperial Valley and El Centro Substations. The project consists of replacing the existing line built on 293 wood poles with 184 new steel poles to provide more robust and reliable infrastructure while increasing transmission capacity available to interconnect new energy projects built in IID’s service territory.

“This transmission line is an important component for maintaining a stable and reliable power supply to IID customers and to the overall reliability of the Southern California energy grid,” said IID Board President Jim Hanks. “We are also pleased to be able to work with our partner Citizens Energy and others, on this critical project that also provides a pathway for the continued development of locally produced renewable energy.”

In October 2020, the IID Board of Directors approved the agreements necessary to move forward with the upgrade project and in November 2021, approved the funding to facilitate the project. Total estimated project cost is $55 million. It is expected to be completed in late 2022.

Citizens Energy Chief Executive Officer Peter Smith added, “We are proud to be working with IID on another energy infrastructure project with a social impact. We don’t pretend that our work together can solve all the challenges facing the struggling families of the Imperial Valley. But we don’t measure our impact by changing the whole world for the better — we just want to improve the odds for the people we help.”

Citizens Energy will fund a significant portion of the project. Citizens has also committed to furthering its aid to low-income customers by contributing one-half of its after-tax profits to fund customer programs and projects in IID’s service territory.

Other project partners include: Sunpin Solar, Cordoba Corporation, Ferreira Power West, California Independent System Operator and Imperial County.

Project Highlights:

• The existing transmission line (a single circuit with 293 wood poles) will be replaced with a new transmission line featuring 184 steel poles.

• Includes 18 miles of new fiber optic wire.

• As part of the process, some distribution facilities will be redesigned, relocated and modified.

• Estimated project cost: $55 million.

• Estimated completion date: Late 2022.

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IID Board President James C. Hanks.

Alex Cardenas, Marilyn del Bosque Gilbert, Peter F. Smith, Henry Martinez, James C. Hanks, Javier Gonzalez, Marsel Kamberaj, Jesus E. Escobar and Ray Castillo.

S-Line Upgrade Project Groundbreaking ceremony.


Antonio Ortega



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