Utilities Undergrounding

About Utilities Underground Conversion Projects
Since 1965, the City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) has administered an ongoing program to convert overhead utility lines, including electric, telephone, and cable TV facilities, to underground.This staff report provides some historical background on the City’s undergrounding program. 

 

Current Utilities Underground Conversion Projects in Progress

 

New Utilities Underground Conversion Projects

 

Rebuilding Existing Utilities Underground Districts
CPAU not only develops new underground districts but, because of the limited life expectancy of equipment, proactively rebuilds older districts to minimize the risk of unplanned outages. This rebuild program aligns with CPAU’s 2018 Strategic Plan for a proactive infrastructure replacement program, based on planned replacement before failure to support reliability and resiliency (Priority 4, Strategy 1). This work is necessary to help ensure electric service reliability, improve safety conditions surrounding the electrical equipment, and is for the benefit of all customers in the area.

Current Utilities Underground District Rebuilds in Progress

 

Upcoming Utilities Underground District Rebuilds

 

What is Involved in a Utilities Underground Rebuild Project
Utilities underground rebuild projects involve the redesign of the underground electric system to current design practices. This includes replacement, where necessary, of cables, switches, transformers, and associated equipment, as well as conversion of the primary voltage from 4,160 Volt (V) to 12,470 V. Per City policy, Section B(3) of City of Palo Alto Rule and Regulation 3 (Description of Utility Services), above ground padmount equipment is required for all new underground electric construction. Where possible, submersible equipment will be replaced with padmount equipment which is more reliable, safer to operate, and more easily maintained. 

  • View a recent staff report and presentation to the Utilities Advisory Commission about requirements for pad-mounted equipment in underground electric construction.
    •  This includes a discussion about exceptions to the standard rebuild design for Utilities Underground District 15, in the Green Acres neighborhood.
  • Electric utilities cite safety as a primary reason to upgrade subsurface electrical equipment to above ground pad mounts. Sempra Energy provides an explanation in their project management fact sheet

 

To follow this subject, subscribe to receive updates on City Council and Utilities Advisory Commission meeting agendas. 

FAQs - Utilities Underground Homeowner Service ConversionsFAQs - Utilities Underground Homeowner Service Conversions
File Name: FAQs - Utilities Underground Homeowner Service Conversions.pdf
Revision Date: 8/9/2018
FAQs - Utilities Underground Homeowner Service ConversionsMore
Info
divider
FAQs - Utilities Undergrounding & RebuildsFAQs - Utilities Undergrounding & Rebuilds
File Name: FAQs Utilities Undergrounding & Rebuilds.pdf
Revision Date: 9/18/2018
FAQs - Utilities Undergrounding & RebuildsMore
Info
divider
Map - Utilities Underground DistrictsMap - Utilities Underground Districts
File Name: Map - Utilities Underground Districts.pdf
Revision Date: 8/9/2018
Map - Utilities Underground DistrictsMore
Info
divider
Resolution Regarding Padmount Equipment for Underground Electric FacilitiesResolution Regarding Padmount Equipment for Underground Electric Facilities
File Name: Resolution Approving Padmount Equipment Policy - CMR_182_96.pdf
Revision Date: 8/9/2018
Resolution Regarding Padmount Equipment for Underground Electric FacilitiesMore
Info
divider
Staff Report - Padmount Equipment Policy for Underground Electric FacilitiesStaff Report - Padmount Equipment Policy for Underground Electric Facilities
File Name: Padmount Equipment Policy - CMR_182_96.pdf
Revision Date: 8/9/2018
Staff Report - Padmount Equipment Policy for Underground Electric FacilitiesMore
Info
divider