With Undergrounding Ordered, SCE Begins Property Rights Discussion

The utility will be contacting 35 homeowners and seven businesses, which includes a golf course and country club and two parking lots.

July 23, 2013 | By Paul Klein

With the recent decision of the California Public Utilities Commission to order undergrounding of transmission lines in the city of Chino Hills, Southern California Edison has begun the process of acquiring additional property rights before construction begins.

About 35 homeowners and seven businesses in Chino Hills will be affected by the undergrounding decision which requires that a 3.5-mile portion of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project be built underground. This portion in SCE’s existing transmission right-of-way crosses open space, a golf course and country club, two parking lots and residential property.

“Once completed, the Tehachapi project will have the capacity to safely deliver enough clean, renewable energy to power approximately three million homes,” said Kit Cole, SCE’s director of local public affairs. “California has one of the most ambitious renewable energy goals in the nation. The Tehachapi project is critical for facilitating progress toward those goals.”

On July 11, the commission reversed its previous decision and ordered SCE to underground a portion of the Tehachapi project in Chino Hills, something the utility had opposed since it would delay the project and increase costs. 

Although SCE already had the easement rights to build the overhead lines in Chino Hills, the utility must now make modifications by either acquiring property rights or negotiating additional easement rights for the underground construction that involves installing and operating underground vaults and cables to safely and securely run the system.

An SCE appraiser will be contacting affected landowners in Chino Hills to assess the property needs for the undergrounding portion. The landowner will have the option to meet with the appraiser during the site visit. Following the appraisal, SCE will negotiate the terms of the property (fee or easement) acquisition.

Once energized, the Tehachapi project will address constraints on the region’s electric system by providing additional capacity and operational flexibility. The project will also help significantly boost electric reliability for all of SCE’s customers.

Topics: Customer Service, Infrastructure