Services Provided
  • Up to 70 field biologists deployed on any given day
  • Preconstruction biological and cultural monitoring services
  • Focused surveys for coastal California gnatcatcher and Quino checkerspot butterfly

The Sunrise Powerlink is a 117-mile, 500,000-volt transmission line linking San Diego to the Imperial Valley, one of the most renewable-rich regions in the Southwest United States. This $1.9 billion project endured a 5-year environmental review and permitting process in addition to an 18-month construction featuring both overhead and underground technology, disparate climates, and rough, remote terrain.  Without exception, the Sand Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) Sunrise Powerlink is the most scrutinized proposed transmission power line in California History, and perhaps, the whole of the United States.

The transmission itself is designed for 1,000 megawatts of power, or enough energy to serve 650,000 homes, delivering a significant amount of wind and solar power to San Diego. The Sunrise Powerlink is a critical component of the future of California energy as 33 percent of SDG&E’s power will be derived from renewable resources by 2020. As such, SDG&E has signed well over 1000 MW worth of wind and solar renewable agreements since Sunrise officially received the final permitting. Of course, before SDG&E could move forward with these agreements, Sunrise had to get the go ahead. This is where Chambers Group came in.

Chambers Group delivered both environmental permitting and extensive monitoring. Our biologists conducted reconnaissance-level surveys of several proposed routes to identify sensitive wildlife and plant species for future placement of electrical transmission lines. The project required identification of sensitive habitat and areas needing future focused surveys. To meet an accelerated schedule, numerous focused surveys and pre- construction surveys were required. Chambers Group assisted the construction team by performing surveys, having negotiations with agency staff, and providing up to 70 biologists per day to perform surveys and compliance monitoring duties.

While it is easy to say that any project with the size and scope of Sunrise Powerlink requires the best out of its support team, the truth is that there has only ever been one Sunrise Powerlink in California History. The result of energy supplies goals as ambitious as they were prominent, Sunrise Powerlink created the new standard for environmental permitting and monitoring in California.