The city of Hanford boasts one of Southern California Edison’s (SCE) longest-serving electric systems, dating almost as far back as the start of the company’s first circuit in 1886 in the neighboring city of Visalia.
But as much as their pasts are intertwined, Hanford and SCE are doubling down as they invest in major capital projects to prepare for the future.
“SCE’s project complements the city’s goal to revitalize downtown Hanford,” said Brian Thoburn, SCE Local Public Affairs region manager for Hanford and Kings County. “So what better way to start than to upgrade the electric infrastructure so we’re prepared to meet the future demand of a growing community?”
SCE’s infrastructure improvement projects reflect a positive public-private partnership, said Thoburn.
“The process is a collaborative one and both parties understand and appreciate the long game.”
The partnership started with the city and Kings County green lighting the Mascot substation, located east of Hanford, in 2009. After that, grid improvements continued with major circuit upgrades starting in 2013. Poles and transformers have been upgraded and miles of underground cable have also been replaced.
The last leg of the project concludes in a few months with a $3.5 million upgrade wrapping up at the end of March.
SCE’s infrastructure upgrade projects have meant continuous communication with community leaders and impacted businesses and residents who may have experienced temporary maintenance outages and some lane and road closures.
“They have been very patient and appreciative about the communications all through the various projects,” said Thoburn.
In the long run, the system improvements will help with reliability. More importantly, the modernization of the grid and the increased capacity of the system will accommodate more electricity demand from the city’s anticipated growth.
“These infrastructure investments are just that — we want to invest in the future of this great community,” said Thoburn. “If they want to invest in downtown, we want to invest in downtown.”