A planned upgrade and extension of an existing power line near the Tooele City substation in Settlement Canyon is expected to bring Tooele Valley enough new voltage to power an additional 15,000 single-family homes.
The proposed project will replace 25 poles on an existing line southeast of the city, and extend the line a few hundred feet to join the Tooele substation with the Mona-Oquirrh transmission line that powered up earlier this year, said Mickey Beaver, customer and community manager for Rocky Mountain Power.
By tapping into the Mona line and upgrading the existing infrastructure in the area, Beaver said the project should be able to provide the area with 50 megawatts of additional electricity.
In addition to increasing capacity on the line, the project should bring greater reliability, Beaver said.
“Most people’s power doesn’t go out too often, but any time it does go out, that’s unacceptable,” he said.
The line upgrade and extension looks toward future growth in Tooele Valley, he added. It is also part of an ongoing effort to upgrade outdated infrastructure throughout the West Desert, where exposure to wind, salt corrosion and the impact of animals have caused existing lines to deteriorate.
Most of the poles on the upgraded line will be made of wood. The few that are tall enough to require steel will be made of a rust-colored material that will better blend into the hillside, Beaver said.
Rocky Mountain Power obtained a conditional use permit from Tooele City for the project, which will slightly depart from the line’s current route at the request of a nearby landowner, during a city planning and zoning commission meeting last Wednesday.
With the permitting process now complete, Beaver estimated that the upgraded line would be in place and ready for service by the end of the first quarter of 2014.