Pacific Power applies for more robust substation

Lauren Steinheimer

A bigger and brawnier electrical substation is being proposed to meet the anticipated future power needs of the City of Mount Shasta.

Pacific Power filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission on Nov. 2 regarding construction of a larger and more robust Lassen Substation to replace the existing Mt. Shasta Substation.

The proposal includes an upgrade of the current distribution system from a 4.6 kV line to a 12.47 kV line and installation of approximately 1,200 feet of underground cable.

PacifiCorp’s application for a permit to construct the Lassen Substation project states the current Mt. Shasta substation is deteriorating and replacement, “is necessary to improve reliability and meet current and future demand.”

“A light industrial bottling facility scheduled to begin operation in 2016 has requested delivery of new load beyond the capability of Mt. Shasta Substation transformer T-3521. An increase in transformer capacity is required in order to supply the new load,” the environmental assessment states.

Timeline indicated in the environmental assessment predicts the project to be complete Dec. 2017.

The environmental assessment report says Mt. Shasta Substation is too damaged and located on too small a piece of property to handle the upgrades.

“The wood framing of the Mt. Shasta Substation is deteriorating and the transformers, regulators, breakers, switches, connectors and bus work have also begun to deteriorate due to age and corrosion.

“Over the next few years, it is anticipated that the substation could reach the end of its useful life. Due to surrounding physical and land use constraints, there is insufficient space to allow for the rebuild and expansion of the existing substation,” the assessment states.

The proposed Lassen Substation will be located at 504 South Old Stage Road on two adjoining parcels comprising a total of 4.5 acres. The substation itself will be about 280 feet by 212 feet.

The project includes replacement of 36 wood poles along the existing transmission line, covering about 1.5 miles.

Once Lassen Substation is up and running, Mt. Shasta Substation will be removed.

In order to reduce potential exposure to electric and magnetic fields, which could be generated by the proposed facilities, the public notice states Pacific Power intends to extend the fence line to encompass the transmission span entering the substation and increase the height of replacement transmission poles.

Formal protests must be filed within 30 days of the notice being posted on Nov. 2. That’s a deadline of Dec. 2.

If protests are filed, a prehearing conference and scoping memo will follow according to CPUC’s application process.

Protests may be sent to:

California Public Utilities Commission, Docket Office, 505 Van Ness Avenue, Room 2001, San Francisco, California 94102.

For assistance filing a formal protest, or to submit a public comment about the application, contact:

Public Advisor’s Office, California Public Utilities Commission, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, California 94102.

Or email or call 1-415-703-2074.