Liberty has been hard at work hardening our infrastructure to not only improve service reliability but also reduce the risk of wildfire ignition. The projects below specifically address wildfire mitigation measures as well as reducing the need and/or severity of public safety power shutoffs (PSPS).
Wildfire Mitigation Projects - Residential - California Electric - Liberty
Liberty works year-round to increase service reliability and reduce the risk of an electrical infrastructure-ignited wildfire. Liberty makes prudent investments to harden infrastructure as a part of our wildfire mitigation plan. Learn more about the infrastructure upgrades, installations, and replacements that are involved in hardening our electrical system.
Covered conductor is wire that has an insulated cover to help protect against sparking, shorts from wire slaps, and reduces or eliminates exposed bare wire. Liberty is actively replacing bare wire with covered conductor, starting with the highest fire risk areas including the Topaz and West Lake Tahoe areas.
Crews continue to remove overhead conductors that are currently attached to trees, adding poles where needed and relocating the conductor attachments to a properly treated pole. They may also cause issues if the tree grows or dies and falls over taking the overhead conductor with it. As part of the wildfire mitigation plan, Liberty is working systematically to remove all tree mounted infrastructure.
Liberty constructed a new substation to replace the Brockway substation, which was built in the 1960s and was made of wood. The new substation will help provide more reliable electric service to the north shore of Lake Tahoe.
Liberty is replacing traditional expulsion fuses with non-expulsion fuses. The traditional fuses expel hot gas and particles when blown, which can ignite a fire should that hot material land on dry fuel. The new non-expulsion fuses do not expel any material, helping to reduce the risk of a fire ignition.
Liberty has selected a contractor to thoroughly inspect and document the entire overhead electrical distribution system. This project will help provide detailed insight and allow cross referencing to replace expulsion fuses, tree attachments, and more.
A year-round effort to maintain power line clearance and reduce or eliminate combustible fuel near electrical infrastructure.
Liberty continues to build out a network of local weather stations to provide real-time weather data throughout the service territory. In addition to the weather stations, Liberty is also utilizing the AlertWildfire camera network in partnership with the University Nevada Reno as well as well as piloting a new technology called distribution fault anticipation, which helps to detect minor faults before they become catastrophic.
Liberty crews are working on another Lake Tahoe saving project at Emerald Bay State Park near the historic Vikingsholm castle. The wildfire prevention project consists of 25 pole replacements to install covered conductor and harden the electrical distribution lines to prevent wildfire. Tree pruning and removal will occur. Most poles will be hand dug to help avoid unnecessary disturbance.
Liberty is installing automatic reclosers to allow for better control during system faults, as well as the ability to control them remotely. These devices will help reduce wildfire ignition risk while improving service reliability.
Construction of Liberty’s first microgrid at UC Berkeley’s Sagehen Creek Field Station is complete. A microgrid is a decentralized electric source and distribution that can provide electric power to an isolated area of the electrical distribution system and be synchronized with the full system, providing additional power and load balancing. The system allows Sagehen to operate almost exclusively on solar power during the summer months. The microgrid contributes to Liberty’s wildfire mitigation infrastructure hardening efforts and sustainability and 100% renewable energy goals.