Manager’s Message — January 2022

As We Begin a New Year

Lassen Municipal Utility District begins the new year with an ambitious schedule for projects to increase reliability in our service territory.

As we reported to you in 2021, we are proceeding with design and engineering on the Skedaddle Project, also known as the NV Energy Interconnect. Now that financing is secured, LMUD will procure major equipment and issue requests for bids for the substation construction. The project is planned for completion by the end of 2024.

We also obtained approvals for upgrading and improving the power supply line to the Shaffer Mountain communications site. This site is very important to our community due to the large number of critical communications stations, including AT&T, the sheriff’s department, California Department of Forestry, Edge, Honey Lake TV, and T-Mobile.

The line to the top of the mountain is located in difficult terrain. To upgrade this line, we have sought and obtained approval from the Bureau of Land Management to place the high-voltage line underground along the road to the site. Undergrounding protects the line in severe weather and improves access when repairs are needed in the future.

We are also in the planning stages of a right-of-way improvement project for our transmission lines between Westwood and Susanville. The lines suffered damage in both the Hog Fire in 2020 and the Dixie Fire in 2021. Wildfires are a significant risk to all utility lines. To reduce the risk of fire damage, we have submitted plans to California Office of Emergency Services in hopes of obtaining funding to remove more trees along the LMUD right-of-way.

There are two ways this benefits the reliability of our transmission system. First, we create additional distance between trees and power line conductors to avoid falling trees caused by high winds and storms. Second, removing trees and vegetation means a reduced likelihood of shrubs and low vegetation causing fire damage to poles that support electric lines. Clearing more vegetation also forms a fire break that can be used to defend and protect our communities against a progressing wildfire.

There has been a good deal of discussion recently about federal funds that are available to promote broadband access in rural communities. We want our customers to know we support the providers of broadband service in our service territory—Frontier, Zito, and Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications—by providing safe access to LMUD poles. This is accomplished by following the requirements of state law and regulations governing the use of joint poles.

LMUD’s priority is providing safe, reliable electric service to our customers. We support the companies that provide broadband, internet, and phone service in cooperation with LMUD.

LMUD is planning several outreach efforts to seek input from our customers in the next few months. As always, we encourage our customers to provide comments or feedback on our service and the information presented here.

Pat Holley
General Manager