How Natina naturally colored the Sunrise Powerlink Transmission Towers in San Diego

Ryan Morey - Natina Vice President of Business Development
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Natina Steel Solution on the Sunrise Powerlink Transmission Towers

To keep up with the increasing demand for energy in Southern California, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) constructed and planned the Sunrise Powerlink Transmission Project. This 500-kilovolt transmission line is essential since this is the first transmission lines that link San Diego to the energy grid in more than 25 years. The Sunrise Powerlink is a 117-mile, 500-kilovolt transmission line designed to carry renewable energy from Imperial Valley to San Diego. The line will have the capacity to carry up to 1,000 megawatts of clean power (enough energy for approximately 650,000 homes). The project spans a large area and impacts many residents in vast areas of open space. Special considerations were taken to ensure successful construction of the Sunrise Powerlink while minimizing visual and environmental impacts.

Agencies such as U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management and California Public Utilities Commission worked in partnership with SDG&E to ensure the environment was protected and the beauty of the landscape was maintained. For a section of the project that traverses the Cleveland National Forest, it was requested that the lattice towers be colored or stained to better blend with the surrounding landscape. SDG&E looked into several of options to achieve the desired results, eventually choosing Natina Steel Solution. One of the key features that helped their decision is Natina’s environmentally safe solution containing ingredients found in nature and soft organic acids (i.e. similar acidity to lemon juice). A second key feature was Natina’s unique and rustic brown finish on the towers, which resulted in a camouflage-like effect. The final one was cost; Natina was more affordable than other traditional colorants in the marketplace.

Natina Steel Solution was applied to the transmission towers over 12 working days and the color development occurred over 2 weeks. Natina reacts with the zinc in the galvanized layer to create a beautiful, rustic brown finish without compromising the protection of the galvanized layer. 

After application and color development was complete, the sections of SDG&E transmission towers were transported via helicopter to their final destinations in the picturesque Cleveland National Forest. The towers natural color blended into the vegetation perfectly and exceeded all of SDG&E’s expectations.

We’d love to be part of your next project. To learn more about Natina’s reactive color treatment or set up a presentation, contact us.


San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

U.S. Forest Service

U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

CA Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)

Materials applied with Natina:

Transmission towers, galvanized cable barrier, gates, exclusionary fence



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