New power distribution system coming to Scotia

Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

Within the next year the residences and businesses in Scotia will start receiving power from Pacific Gas and Electric Co., and not directly from the cogeneration power plant in town.

The switch to transfer power delivery from the old Pacific Lumber private utility system to a modern PG&E operated system is part of the Scotia subdivision project.

Prior to PG&E installing the distribution infrastructure in Scotia, an electrical contractor will be hired to complete the customer service wiring, including individual power drops, meters, and panel boxes at every residence and business in town.

"Individual home residents can expect to see electrical contractors working throughout all neighborhoods on the service drops and meter boxes," said Town of Scotia President Frank Bacik. He expects to have a more specific timeline to announce soon.

Bacik is currently negotiating and proposing easement agreements with PG&E, so the new power connection system can be installed. He said it may be necessary from time to time, to do some work from within the homes and businesses in Scotia, and that prior arrangements will be made and advance notice will be given in such circumstances.

The project will be conducted in phases, according to Bacik, over the next six months to one year. He describes this project as an incredibly complex process, to keep the old distribution system in place and operating while a new one is engineered and constructed, so that one day service is just switched over from old to new. Once the new system is in place, the old poles, wires, meters, and service drops can be removed.

"Due to the age and location of prior installed infrastructure throughout Scotia, there will be relatively little undergrounding of electrical lines in town," Bacik said.

Once the switch is complete, the operators of the Scotia cogeneration power plant will sell biomass-produced electricity directly to a public utility through the California electrical grid, and PG&E will then channel power to all end users in Scotia through the new distribution system.

Photo by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

Sometime within the next year, the cogeneration power plant in Scotia will stop providing electricity directly to the residences and businesses in Scotia, and begin selling electricity to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for distribution in town.