A majority of residential and commercial customers in our region rely on natural gas to warm their homes and businesses, heat water, cook food and power industrial/manufacturing processes.
To ensure our customers’ energy needs are always met safely and reliably for decades to come, we are about to undertake a series of projects to test or replace 50 miles of a 70-year-old, natural gas pipeline (known as Line 1600).
Last month, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved our plan to modernize the 1949-vintage line. The safety projects associated with this major upgrade effort are part of SDG&E’s Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan (PSEP)– a program designed to strength-test or replace older high-pressure pipelines and upgrade automatic shut-off valves.
Since 2012, more than 23 miles of pipeline in our region have been strength-tested or replaced under the existing program, along with upgrades for 21 shut-off valves.
Upgrades Will be Designed Efficiently to Reduce Community Impact
Under the plan approved by the CPUC, we will undertake a series of 19 separate, smaller projects to test or replace the pipeline.
Each project is designed to be constructed as safely and efficiently as possible, while reducing impacts to local communities. The work is being divided into smaller projects to manage gas system impacts and put the new sections into service quickly. Construction is expected to take about four weeks per mile of pipeline work.
As with other construction projects, SDG&E is working with individual communities to design each project so that traffic and noise impacts can be minimized on the streets we will be working. We’ll also be providing more information to individual communities as we get closer to construction.
We are excited to be able to design these replacement projects with the latest technology using high-grade materials, automatic shut-off valves and fiber-optic technology that alerts us immediately to any drops in pressure or problems with the pipeline.
The first construction phase is scheduled to begin in early 2020 with projects in the City of Escondido and the City of San Diego. The entire set of pipeline safety upgrades associated with Line 1600 is expected to be completed over the next several years.
To learn more about the project and the role natural gas plays in our region’s economy, visit sdge.com/major-projects/major-projects-pipeline-safety.