News Releases

Sierra Pacific Begins Moving Tahoe City Power Line Underground

Jun 8, 1999

Sierra Pacific Power Company
Contact: Karl Walquist/Bob Sagan
Phone: 775-834-4345

For Immediate Release

About 20 power poles will disappear from downtown Tahoe City after Sierra Pacific Power Company completes construction of a 14,000-volt electric underground distribution line. Telephone and television cables hanging from the same poles along North Lake Boulevard will also be buried.

Sierra Pacific's portion of the project began in early June and should be completed in the fall, according to Wes Wiens, Tahoe District manager for Sierra Pacific. The project won't be fully operational until customers served by the line are able to convert their homes and businesses to accept underground electrical connections.

Wiens said construction crews will be installing conduit, underground electrical vaults, transformers and switches in order to accommodate the underground power line. The existing poles, which are about 40 feet tall, will be removed after all the underground facilities have been installed.

The portion of the power line that's being moved underground extends for about four-tenths of a mile from Grove Street east to the Safeway shopping center.

About two-thirds of the electric distribution lines in downtown Tahoe City are already located underground, Wiens said.

Sierra Pacific's portion of the project will cost approximately $1.8 million. It will be funded under terms of a California Public Utilities Commission regulation that requires utilities to set aside a portion of their revenues to pay for moving overhead distribution facilities underground.

Local governmental entities in the Lake Tahoe Basin are responsible for choosing which electric distribution lines are placed underground. Since the start of the program several miles of overhead lines have been moved underground along scenic roadways at Lake Tahoe.