Covered Conductor Deployment Helps Keep Communities Safe

SCE reaches important milestone of covered conductor installations in its Wildfire Mitigation Plan, helping to reduce the impact of Public Safety Power Shutoffs.
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Stories : Safety

Covered Conductor Deployment Helps Keep Communities Safe

SCE reaches important milestone of covered conductor installations in its Wildfire Mitigation Plan, helping to reduce the impact of Public Safety Power Shutoffs.
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Infographic: Lawrence Tsuei

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A key benefit of covered conductor is the relatively fast speed at which it can be installed to achieve immediate wildfire risk reduction. That's one of the reasons why Southern California Edison has installed 3,500 miles of overhead wire with a protective coating since it began installations in late 2018.

Covered conductor reels can weigh more than 3,000 pounds and carry up to 5,000 feet of wire. Photo Credit: Roberto Lazarte
Covered conductor reels can weigh more than 3,000 pounds and carry up to 5,000 feet of wire. Photo Credit: Roberto Lazarte
“Covered conductor is a critical tool to quickly mitigate the threat of wildfires that could be caused by debris blowing into power lines. It helps keep our communities safe,” said Steve Powell, president and CEO of SCE.


The grid hardening effort is also easing the burden on customers impacted by Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). SCE is working on completing more than 50 additional circuits this year, including installing more than 150 miles of covered conductor, along with more sectionalizing devices and weather stations. On these 50 circuits, the company expects an incremental 60% reduction in PSPS outage time compared to the last two years, assuming the same weather and fuel conditions.

SCE's Wildfire Mitigation Milestones. Infographic Credit: Lawrence Tsuei
SCE's Wildfire Mitigation Milestones. Infographic Credit: Lawrence Tsuei

“We know covered conductor does what it is designed to do,” Powell said. “For example, during significant wind events in November 2021, SCE crews discovered tree branches that had fallen on energized power lines that had been replaced with covered conductor. Our customers on that segment of the circuit did not experience a power outage and, most importantly, a potential wildfire was avoided.”

Helicopters are used to string covered conductor from pole to pole in remote, difficult to access terrain such as Orange County’s Santiago Peak.
Helicopters are used to string covered conductor from pole to pole in remote, difficult to access terrain such as Orange County’s Santiago Peak. Photo Credit: Joseph Foulk

For the latest news regarding SCE's wildfire mitigation milestones to protect the public from wildfires, visit edison.com/newsroom.

For more information on SCE's wildfire safety efforts, visit edison.com/wildfire-safety.