An unusual number of power outages have occurred in town, prompting city officials to invite a representative from Southern California Edison (SCE) to make a presentation during Wednesday’s South Pasadena City Council meeting.
The report, prepared by Edison representative Jeannette Soriano, indicates the agency has invested heavily in infrastructure upgrades in an effort to curb electrical failures and ease the minds of residents.
It was pointed out to council members that equipment failure, weather, fire, vegetation and rodents are all causes of power outages. Balloons and tree branches landing on lines, along with vehicles crashing into poles and transformer failures are the other culprits. On top of that, there have been numerous planned outages in which customers are notified in writing that power will be temporarily interrupted.
“SCE was saying we know there have been some growing pains as their work is being done,” explained John Pope, South Pasadena’s public information officer. “But overall, there’s a net positive, because improvements have been made.”
Soriano, SCE’s government relation’s manager, insists system upgrades across the region are in place, noting that more than $13 billion is being invested in the power distribution grid over the next three years.
“At SCE, it is our job to make sure that our customers have the robust electrical infrastructure needed to continue to power their future energy needs,” she said. “Upgrading to newer equipment will make the power grid up-to-date and minimize the likelihood of unanticipated and extended outages.”
•Upgrading cables, poles, switches and transformers.
•Updating the grid so it can accommodate new technologies, such as smart inverters that will allow for the two-way flow of solar energy.
•Adapting the power to system to accommodate future California policy related to energy storage, electrical transportation and renewable energy.
•Providing enhanced automation and monitoring devices to allow SCE to respond to changes on the grid.
“Our investments in local communities will help ensure that customers receive safe, reliable and affordable electricity now and in the future,” said Soriano.
Meanwhile, a resident approached the council during its meeting in early October with concerns that SCE was going to fence off the right-away or an open space near Hope Avenue they find desirable.
“People apparently like it, having access to the area,” explained Pope. “Other people say that the grass doesn’t get mowed enough, it can get dry and become a fire hazard.”
After hearing about the concerns, SCE officials have made it known the area no longer will be fenced off.
They agreed that any significant changes to that area would come to the community first,” Pope said. “We’ll have a community meeting, get input and decide what’s right.”