Silicon Valley Power (SVP) detailed its response to the heat wave, wildfires and lightning storms as well as its plans to ramp up the City’s load growth.
Manuel Pineda, Director of Electric Utility, gave SVP’s quarterly strategic plan at Tuesday night’s Santa Clara City Council meeting. Pineda told the Council that lightning caused 7,500 to lose power and 90 percent of the City’s 46,000 acres at Loyalty Ranch were affected by a wildfire.
SVP’s load growth is increasing, Pineda said. While the system capacity is 750 megawatts, SVP is looking to increase that load to 1,000 in the next 3-to-5 years. From late 2020 to early 2021, SVP is looking to add 369 megawatts.
“We are not really looking where we have been, but where we are going with load growth,” Pineda said. “We are talking about a lot of possible growth.”
Pineda said he wants the system to be “flexible” and “agile” as the City grows.
Part of the system expansion involves a contractor, which Pineda said has already been hired, and talks for transmission agreements are already underway. He said he expects the contract for the expansion plan to come before the Council in late October or early November.
Pineda highlighted three projects that are on the horizon.
The South Loop Project will install 2.3 miles of transmission line and 80 poles and is in the ease acquisition phase; that project starts in the spring of 2021.
The $2.9 million Oak Junction substation is under construction and slated to begin operation in summer 2022.
Finally, the Serra substation is slated to go online next summer.
Council Moves Forward Discussion On Sewers
A written petition to change the City’s sewer ordinance will also return in December. The Council unanimously approved a written petition from Joe Ducato to consider having the City assume responsibility for maintenance and replacement of sewer laterals in the public right of way.
Council Member Teresa O’Neill said she has already begun looking into other options such as warranties and insurance programs through organizations such as the National League of Cities, saying it is a “problem that is happening around the United States.”
The item will return to the Council sometime in December to be heard in full.
Stadium Authority Opts For Increased Transparency
The Council, acting as the Stadium Authority Board in a joint meeting, also discussed providing minutes from Stadium Authority and Stadium Manager Meetings. In an item pulled from the consent calendar, Council Member Raj Chahal said he would like to see minutes from the meetings. The rest of the Council concurred, voting unanimously to make the minutes public.
Mayor Lisa Gillmor said simply looking over the agendas for those meetings shocked her, so getting more insight into the discussions would be helpful.
“We are spending time teaching them how to procure contracts,” she said. “I was actually surprised that we are educating them about how to do their job.”
The Council also held a special meeting Monday night to appoint members to the Planning Commission and the Civil Service Commission.
The Council appointed Ricci Herro to the Planning Commission. Herro is a pipefitter and construction worker with United Association Local 93.
It also placed Qian Huang, who actually got more votes in the first round of voting than Herro, on the eligibility list with top priority. It also added Yashraj Bhatnagar, director of quality at Comet Technologies USA, and Ali Zagari to the eligibility list
For the Civil Service Commission, the Council appointed Tahir Naim, a self-employed attorney and principal, and put Morgan Goldstein, a teacher for the East Side Union High School District, on the eligibility list.
Those put on the eligibility list are in line for an appointment should members of the respective commissions resign before their term ends. Appointments to the eligibility list last for a year.
The Council meets again Tuesday, Sept. 1 in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 1500 Warburton Ave. in Santa Clara.
Members of the public can participate in the City Council meetings on Zoom at https://santaclaraca.zoom.us/j/99706759306; Meeting ID: 997-0675-9306 or call 1(669) 900-6833, via the City’s eComment (available during the meeting) or by email to PublicComment@santaclaraca.gov
For those without the above access, the City cafeteria has been set up to accommodate up to 10 people at a time and public comment will be given from that location.