SDG&E and Cleveland National Forest Announce Completion of Major Fire Resistance Project

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Cleveland National Forest Fire Hardening and Safety Project furthers goal of providing safe, reliable energy

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SAN DIEGO, January 25, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and the Cleveland National Forest today announced the completion of the Cleveland National Forest Fire Hardening and Safety (CNF) Project, a cornerstone of community fire safety of the San Diego area and efforts to strengthen the electrical system.

The CNF project included a variety of wood-to-steel pole conversions and the replacement or burial of equipment to improve the fire resistance of electrical infrastructure over approximately 880 square miles in eastern San Diego, including communities of Julian, Pauma Valley, Descanso, Pine Valley, Mount Laguna and Campo.

“This is a tremendous achievement for our region and the result of incredible partnerships at the local, state and federal levels, as well as the patience of so many of our customers whose lives have been disrupted during the life of the project” , said Caroline. Winn, CEO of SDG&E. “Many dedicated teams and individuals have worked for over a decade, often under difficult conditions, and we are so proud and delighted to announce its completion, knowing that it plays a vital role in SDG&E’s commitment to make our electrical system safer, cleaner and more reliable.”

The planning and design of one of the first fire resistance programs to be developed by SDG&E followed the devastating wildfires of 2003 and 2007, and construction began shortly after the company received the unanimous approval from the CPUC and a primary use permit from the United States Forest Service (USFS) in 2016.

The CNF project comprises 20 different projects which include the total replacement of 607 miles of new conductors and equipment built to withstand winds in excess of 85 miles per hour and high temperatures, 17 new miles of underground distribution lines located in high priority areas and the replacement of more than 2,100 wooden poles with new fire-resistant and weather-resistant steel poles. With the completion of the CNF project, 30% of San Diego’s backcountry electrical infrastructure has been fire rated to date.

“This fire protection project will not only protect communities in and near the forest from potential wildfire threats. It also protects priority watersheds, enhances sensitive wildlife habitats and scenic areas. “said Scott Tangenberg, supervisor of the Cleveland National Forest. “This project was indeed a team effort, and it has strengthened relationships and fostered new partnerships that will have lasting results for the cultural and natural resources we manage.”

The project was not only one of SDG&E’s first full-scale fire-resistance projects, but also one of the most challenging to date due to its size, complexity, rugged terrain, its remote locations, the amount of undeveloped land and the abundance of cultural resources. that were discovered during the project. Recognizing the importance of avoiding and protecting these sensitive resources, SDG&E worked with the US Forest Service to consult with local Kumeyaay and Luiseño tribes to strengthen electrical infrastructure on National Forest System lands, as well as other other high fire threat lands in the district. . Tribal consultation efforts continue as SDG&E enters the post-construction phase of the project. The team responsible for delivering the project in an environmentally and culturally responsible manner included dedicated staff from SDG&E, CPUC and the US Forest Service who worked together to ensure that all mitigation and compliance requirements were met. SDG&E was able to successfully complete the construction of the project with no non-conformities issued by the agency.

CNF’s portfolio of projects is just one of many wildfire resilience projects included in SDG&E’s Wildfire Mitigation Plan (WMP) filed with the CPUC each year. In accordance with Senate Bill 901, the WMP outlines current practices and additional improvements that SDG&E will make beyond the investments already made by the utility to combat the effects of climate change and the threat of wildfires. throughout the year. For more information on SDG&E’s WMP, please visit SDGE.com/2021-Wildfire-Mitigation-Plan.

SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides clean, safe, and reliable energy to improve the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange Counties. The company is committed to creating a sustainable future by currently supplying approximately 45% of its electricity from renewable sources; upgrade gas pipelines; accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles; support many associative partners; and investing in innovative technologies to keep the region’s infrastructure running reliably for generations to come. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a San Diego-based energy services holding company. For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E at Twitter: @sdge Instagram @SDGE and Facebook.

See the source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220124005886/en/

contacts

Denice Menard
San Diego Gas and Electric
(877) 866-2066
sdge.com
Twitter: @sdge

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