Thursday, August 28, 2008

SCE Catching Heat Over Power Lines

Southern California Edison is being roundly criticized by residents in suburban Los Angeles for its above-ground subtransmission lines that are, in the words of one resident, Just plain "ugly."

The Santa Clarita Signal reports that a series of 150 foot black hydroelectric towers are now "zippered across Santa Clarita's northern perimeter" of Valencia. Locals are accusing the PUC of being complicit in the deal to erect the towers and are demanding that they be taken down.

The project EIR called for Edison to mitigate the visual impact by constructing the towers with tubular steel poles, but the utility deemed that not feasible and the PUC ok'd the steel lattice-work design.

Not far away in Thousand Oaks, CA, residents turned out for a public meeting over a proposed substation in L.A. suburb and demanded that Edison bury the subtransmission lines. Edison not surprisingly played the "outage" card and argued that it can restore service much more quickly with overhead lines because they are more accessible.