The SFPUC, along with the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA), is working to install new equipment and improve power reliability on Treasure Island. Specifically, the goals are to limit outages, minimize the number of customers affected by outages that do occur, and improve repair times.
The SFPUC began the process last month with the installation of new reclosers. These devices can prevent outages caused by bird strikes or fallen tree limbs. The SFPUC is also set to install fault indicators in July, which will help reduce the time it takes to identify, diagnose, and repair outages.
In addition to these infrastructure improvements, the SFPUC will continue to take proactive measures to maintain the electricity equipment on both Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands. Those initiatives include replacing poles and ordering spare parts in advance, trimming tree branches, and conducting regular inspections of the distribution systems.
The interim measures currently taking place will increase power reliability while the SFPUC and Treasure Island Community Development (TICD) work on longer-term improvements, including constructing a new switchyard and installing new switchgear, a critical component of the power system serving Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands. The new switchgear will increase the number of electrical circuits and help isolate outages to only part of the island, reducing the number of customers affected when an outage does occur. These additional improvements are expected to be completed by January 2021.
Currently, the SFPUC is responsible for maintaining and operating Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands’ power infrastructure. The infrastructure is owned by TIDA, which inherited the system from the Navy. Typically, electric infrastructure has a lifespan of 25 – 30 years. The infrastructure on Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island ranges from 40 – 50 years in age. Because of the advanced age of the Treasure Island infrastructure, diagnostic and repair work takes longer than a typical power outage.
The new switchyard and gear are essential parts of a future redevelopment plan on Treasure Island, which makes the work even more critical. The program will produce a new neighborhood of 8,000 homes, more than a quarter of which will be offered at below-market rates, extensive open spaces, three hotels, restaurants, retail and entertainment.