March 3, 2006
IRVINE, Calif., March 3, 2006 – Southern California Edison (SCE) today announced a multi-faceted program that will advance environmental stewardship and support its long-term sustainable development of the Orange County Great Park in Irvine.
The SCE plan involves the growing and replanting of 50,000 trees throughout the Great Park’s 1,347-acre public area. The utility is teaming with the Orange County Great Park Corporation to develop state-of-the-art design standards for energy-efficient homes and public facilities to be built on a portion of the remaining 3,700-acre area.
SCE will cultivate, plant and grow the trees for the great park over 10-years, based on the capacity of SCE’s Auberry, California tree farm. SCE will cultivate the trees at its tree farm and transport them to selected SCE rights-of-way within Orange County for further growth before turning them over to be replanted in the Great Park. The initial planting of about 5,000 seedlings will begin this spring.
SCE’s forestation of the Great Park will significantly improve the region’s environmental quality by generating oxygen and removing an estimated 2,500 tons of carbon dioxide along with some 500,000 pounds of other pollutants such as ozone from the air each year.
SCE’s long-term sustainable development partnership with the Great Park Corporation also includes:
- significant energy efficiency model programs installed in all public buildings within the park;
- a cooperative agreement for environmentally sustainable design standards for both the public and private developments;
- exploring the funding and creation of a Customer Energy Technology Center;
- exploration of additional renewable energy sources for the Great Park project, and
- technology expertise for alternate transportation modes.
Michael R. Peevey, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, said that SCE’s plan shows how new technology can enhance environmental quality.
“SCE and the Orange County Great Park Corporation are demonstrating how common interests can be applied to long-term sustainable community development,” Peevey said.
Mike Chrisman, California secretary for resources, said, “This joint alliance is a wonderful example of a true private partnership. The trees that we will plant this spring will be of great benefit for us, our children, and our grandchildren. This is a fine example of the kind of cooperative stewardship that will benefit all Californians both today and beyond.”
Al Fohrer, SCE chief executive officer, said that the company is committed to increasing energy efficiency and advancing environmental stewardship through strong partnerships with the communities which it serves.
“Edison is committed to sustainable development strategies that ensure both the long-term economic health and the environmental quality of the communities we serve,” Fohrer said. “This is the largest new environmental stewardship project in our service territory.”
Larry Agran, chair of the Orange County Great Park Corporation and an Irvine city councilman, said that SCE’s investment in the Great Park will benefit generations of Orange County residents.
“SCE’s investment will make the Orange County Great Park a showplace for cooperation between the public and private sectors in improving the quality of life for Orange County residents. We look forward to other private companies joining with the City of Irvine and the Orange County Great Park Corporation in realizing our shared goal of creating the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century,” Agran said.
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An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.6 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.