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California: K-Line Transmission Hardening Project

A rural, agricultural community bolsters its defense against extreme heat vulnerabilities.

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Imperial Irrigation District, California: $23.89 Million

This is a Justice40 project.


This project focuses on the rural, hot, and dry Eastern Coachella Valley in California. A region dominated by agriculture, this majority Hispanic community struggles with extreme heat, putting pressure on the electrical grid which can lead to a public health crisis with the threat of no air conditioning. Bolstering the transmission line is essential to keeping the people in this region protected from the effects of extreme heat.

Project Description

As a lifeline to socially and economically disadvantaged communities in the Eastern Coachella Valley, a powerline hardening project will promote public health and safety by improving the resiliency of critical energy infrastructure that supports the area. Reliable power is life, especially to these rural communities that endure average summer temperatures of 105 degrees. More than 95% of the homes have some type of air conditioner (central, window unit, room unit, evaporative air conditioner, etc.), and air conditioning provides refuge from the sweltering heat. The district will partner with Riverside County and participating local agencies to promote project awareness and safety. During the entire project, the district will work with land agency partners such as the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The project will consist of storm hardening 28-miles of the 92 kV powerline. This segment of the line does not have any redundancies and is in a high wind region. It will run from 15 miles north of the Niland Substation (Imperial County) to the Mecca Substation (Riverside County), including the Bombay and North Shore Substations in between.

The project will improve system resiliency by reconfiguring the current line design to include reduced spans between poles, replacement of poles, the addition of dead-end poles, and the installation of four new circuit breakers. The new breakers will have the ability to isolate outages, reducing the overall weather impact on the community. Two breakers will be installed at the North Shore Substation and two at the Bombay Substation. The project includes 13 miles of single transmission, 14 miles of single transmission and single distribution, and 1 mile of single transmission and double distribution segments.