Southern California Edison began a $2.2 million project to upgrade aging infrastructure in Rancho Palos Verdes last month, which is expected to last at least through the month of May.
The planned replacement of 150 power poles, 57 transformers and 2.75 miles of overhead power lines required several planned outages last month and continuing over the coming weeks.
“A lot of people who are interested in improving power when they realize we have to go in and replace the poles in their backyard sometimes we face some difficulty,” said Marvin Jackmon, Edison spokesperson.
Edison responded to criticism from all four cities on the peninsula last year when blackouts were occurring more frequently and for longer durations. In response, the utility company began work first in Palos Verdes Estates to upgrade power poles, replace transformers and install early warning devices so engineers know exactly when power might be lost.
The roughly $1 million in upgrades in PVE were completed last September. Allen Riggs, public works director, said residents have already noticed a difference. Though they don’t have specific numbers, Riggs said the perception is the amount of unplanned outages has decreased along with their duration.
“Edison has really stepped up to the challenge of the aging infrastructure in the city,” Riggs said.
Additional work is planned for Palos Verdes Estates later this year along with projects slated for Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates. Jackmon said projects on the peninsula over the next two years are part of a $1 billion overall infrastructure improvements to the entire Southern California region.
“Equipment has a life cycle,” Jackmon said. “As it approaches the end of the lifecycle we replace it.”
As Jackmon and others have conceded, power infrastructure on the peninsula has been especially in need of upgrading. Next up is Rolling Hills Estates where the company plans to replace 49 power poles and 25 transformers along Palos Verdes Drive East.
Jackmon said residents will be alerted beforehand to any planned disruptions as a result of the work. In Palos Verdes Estates Riggs said the planned outages came with significant advanced warnings so residents were not surprised.
“We’re trying to minimize the interruption of their lives while we’re installing this new equipment,” Jackmon said. “We look for their understanding as we finish the projects.” ER