Race to restore transmission to Salton Sea geothermal plants

Race to restore transmission to Salton Sea geothermal plants Transmission line poles down after storm, Sept. 2021 (source: IID)
Alexander Richter 4 Sep 2021

Local crews are working non-stop to repair damage to transmission lines in the Salton Sea, California effecting up to 10 geothermal power plants in the region.

Following a storm on August 31, 2021, transmission power poles to geothermal power plants near the Salton Sea in California were damaged. The results was the loss of transmission lines throughout the Imperial Valley including 10 geothermal plants in  the area. The plants have been idle since the storm hit the region, so local news outlet the Holtville Tribune.

The local utility Imperial Irrigation District (IID) is estimating the damage and is working with local crews to fix the transmission lines, which proves to be a challenge with up to  100 poles being effected.

IID crews have been working nonstop to assess and repair the damage to over 100 downed power poles and have requested additional assistance from outside utilities and contract crews to aid in these efforts. While the infrastructure repairs will take a few days, electrical service has been restored to all customers in Imperial County, so a release by IID.

This comes just a day after Monday night’s major storm that knocked down 33 power poles in the community of North Shore in the eastern Coachella Valley. As restoration efforts continue in the North Shore area, 660 customers remain without power. The district continues working to bring back online some of those customers as soon as possible with full restoration expected within three days.

About 80 personnel are working on both restoration efforts, including 12 line construction crews, assisted by Irby Construction, who are all working under extreme weather conditions.

“With back to back storms, IID is doing everything it can to get the power back on as quickly and as safely as possible,” said IID Energy Manager Marilyn Del Bosque Gilbert. “With extensive damage affecting both the Coachella and Imperial Valleys, coordination is key. We’re working closely with both Riverside County and Imperial County to address specific needs for each area and we thank them for their support. We also appreciate our customers’ patience as crews work around the clock to turn the lights back on for everyone.”

Source: Holtville Tribune, IID