Response to Concerns regarding LADWP Use of Two Pole Top Distributing Stations in Pacific Palisades Community to Meet Electricity Demand

We’ve received messages from several residents in the Pacific Palisades community expressing concern about the use of two pole-top distributing stations to temporarily meet local customer demand for electricity.  We have also received messages of support, as we take steps to protect and improve electric service reliability in this area.

As you likely know, power outages are a growing concern in the Palisades community; one that we need to address before the summer arrives. These pole-top distributing stations are a temporary remedy to make sure we provide adequate power service to the Palisades community until a permanent long-term solution is set in place. To clarify, we have two pole-top distributing stations going in: one at El Medio next to the high school’s parking lot, and the other at Marquez in front of the empty lot next to the elementary school. We’re in communication with both schools to coordinate construction schedules, address ingress and egress needs, and ensure safety during construction.

Pole-top distributing stations are safe.  They are comprised of standard equipment, including poles, transformers, cross arms, and platforms that are found routinely throughout our power system citywide. They adhere to all safety design and construction standards and requirements.

Our options for siting these pole-top distributing stations are limited by the existing power infrastructure in the area. We need to be able to connect to the infrastructure that’s already there. Relocation to other sites would require additional poles and overhead infrastructure to connect to the existing system, as well as additional noise and traffic impacts. Undergrounding these temporary facilities is not possible because of the size, complexity, and risk of water intrusion.

These pole-top distributing stations are temporary, and will be removed once a new permanent distributing station is operational.  This is by no means a permanent solution for the need to provide adequate power service for the Palisades community, nor is it an indication of the future siting for the permanent Distributing Station, known as DS-104.

LADWP expects to issue a notice-of-preparation to begin the environmental review process under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) later this year for the siting of a much-needed permanent distributing station. Once this process begins, the environmental review process should take about a year. Several locations will be considered, as well as other technologies, and the best site will be determined through this process. We will be sure to publicize this widely so that the community can provide their comments during the public review period and so that they can be taken into consideration in determining the best location.

Thank you.

Andrew C. Kendall
Executive Director – Power System
Construction, Maintenance, and Operations