Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 11/11/2011 06:07:05 PM PST

CHINO HILLS – The California Public Utilities Commission has ordered Southern California Edison to stop construction on its expanded power line project and ordered it to present “feasibility, cost and timing” for five alternative routes in two months.

Edison is expected to “serve testimony, with supporting data” on the alternative routes or by Jan. 10, according to the PUC.

Edison is in the process of installing larger power towers along its right of way through Chino Hills to carry wind-generated electricity from Kern County into the region. The $2.1 billion Tehachapi project is part of a state mandate to generate more sustainable energy. It is slated to be completed in 2015.

The PUC’s ruling Thursday orders Edison to halt construction until the January hearing.

“Once the Commission reviews the responses to the Petition for Modifications and the served information, the assigned Administrative Law Judge and I will determine the next procedural steps and schedule and inform the parties,” said PUC President Michael Peevey in the ruling order.

Construction of the new towers began in October 2010. More than a dozen towers have been installed in Chino Hills, replacing smaller existing structures on the right-of-way. A total of 19 towers are scheduled to be built in the city from the city’s western boarder near Tonner Canyon, northeast to Peyton Drive and continuing east into Riverside County.

Edison’s project has been put on hold in the last month by order of the Federal Aviation Administration because of a lack of aviation warning lights placed on the newly installed towers.

Chino Hills Mayor Ed Graham called the PUC decision an historic step for the city.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever had a favorable decision that has come out of the CPUC,” he said. “And it’s forcing SCE to give them alternative settings which they have never done before.”

Graham said he was also excited to find out that the commission has told Edison that “even if the FAA gave SCE their permit tomorrow to install the lights, the PUC is saying, `No, you’re not going to do anything until we get the studies back,”‘ he said.

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