The City of Palo Alto Utilities Department is working on a project to enhance the security of the local electric utility grid by providing for proper tree abatement, fence realignments, equipment access routes and other improvements at the City's Colorado Ave. substation
This project came about in part from the Electric Substation Physical Security recommendation report, dated 2017, from the City of Palo Alto's 3rd party Consultant, Burns & McDonnell, in compliance with recent Federal Department of Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulatory standards to enhance the security of the electric grid.
In getting all nine of our electric substations secured, we are directed " ... to remove as many trees and shrubs as practical from a 20' radius inside and outside our electric substation fences". Fences are to be "replaced to bring up to current standards" with a goal to "increase the space between the fencing and the utility assets within the electric substation". There is to be a 'clear-zone' to eliminate hiding places for any potential saboteurs, show an 'occupied' appearance, open up the view for outward pointing security cameras and lighting, and eliminate climbing aids for potential saboteurs to gain entry over the fences. With regulatory responsibility for the 'electric grid', FERC is stepping up the enforcement of protection for our nation's electric assets.
For a list of trees to be removed, please see the Tree Removal List.(PDF, 19KB) Final removals for this project take place no earlier than the week of April 25th-29th 2022.