SCE Substation Keeps Power Flowing to Stadium in Inglewood
In 2017, three years before the stadium in Inglewood was built, Southern California Edison began construction on a substation to support the venue.
While February’s big professional football championship game remains fresh in the memories of fans, SCE had a wide variety of big events in mind when designing the substation, including the 2023 College Football National Championship game, the 2028 Summer Olympics and a steady stream of major concerts that all require an uninterrupted, secure and safe supply of power.
“We have a lot of large events coming to Los Angeles. If you think about the preparations and planning that went into the big game, we need to multiply that across our entire service area,” said Andrew Lee, SCE project manager for Strategic Initiatives.
The power transmission substation has enough capacity and redundancy to enable the stadium to take the unprecedented step of operating spectacular halftime shows, concerts and events without an expensive, separate backup generation source. The power loads from the stadium can double during a halftime show.
“The Southern California Edison teams prepared very well, which made the execution go very easily,” said Mike Marelli, vice president of SCE’s Business Customer Division. “The whole idea is we want our customers to be successful, which is great for us and very good for the cities all across our area.”
On the day of the big game in February, a handful of what turned out to be relatively minor challenges emerged. “We had to chase all of these incidents down to make sure they weren’t part of something bigger,” Marelli said. “Thankfully, it was a mostly boring day for Southern California Edison.”
There would be no replay of what happened during the 2013 big professional football game when lights went out and play was suspended for 34 minutes. An additional concern in Los Angeles: the possibility of a cyber or terrorist attack related to recent global events. Well before kickoff, the Department of Homeland Security inspected SCE’s on-site facility.
“That venue is going to be in our area for a long time. We have learned a lot as a company about how to operate during these big events and support these types of customer needs,” Marelli said.
Preparation for the game involved hardening some of the infrastructure supporting SCE transmission facilities in and around the stadium to protect against everything from a deliberate attack to a traffic accident in the wrong location, potentially impacting power.
“The collaboration we have had with all of our partners has been absolutely key,” said Lee. “The cities of Inglewood and Hawthorne, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the list goes on. These collaborations helped us conduct our due diligence, manage our risks and manage our costs.”