Thursday, August 16 , 2018, 7:37 pm | Fair 73º


Local News


Santa Barbara Council Frustrated With Power Outages as Edison Gives Update on Infrastructure Upgrade

Southern California Edison plans a massive, $12 million upgrade to the power grid in Santa Barbara, in a move that officials hope will reduce unplanned outages and create a more reliable, long-term electricity supply. 

Edison officials made a presentation to the Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday, and outlined a plan to modernize the power grid

Edison plans to start the program in 2017 and will work with the city of Santa Barbara between now and then to decide how to upgrade the system with the least amount of disruption as possible. 

Work will include underground re-cabling, installation of new vaults and switches, and upgrades at multiple substations throughout the city. 

The presentation came on the heels of several recent unplanned power outages, including one Friday night. Santa Barbara has had four major power outages in 2015.

Santa Barbara City Council members expressed frustration with the lack of information about the cause of the power outages or a specific plan for how to fix them. 

"What we are missing is an overall plan here," Councilman Harwood "Bendy" White said. "We are missing transparency."

White said just a simple map and explanation of all the sources of power in the city would be helpful. 

"We need to understand what we got, what our biggest weaknesses are and how do we start to address them," White said. 

White asked city staff members if they understood the city's power supply. He received a negative response.

"Our own city staff doesn't understand the full picture of our power supply in this city," White said.

"It is a real deficit. Let's start taking care of this for our children and grandchildren."

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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