New emergency power supply for North Shore |

New emergency power supply for North Shore

North Lake Tahoe’s ace in the hole in case of a blackout is getting an upgrade after 39 years.

Sierra Pacific Power is replacing six diesel generators at Kings Beach that have furnished emergency power supplies to the North Shore during epic winter storms since 1969. The total cost of the improvement project is expected to be approximately $16.5 million, and is expected to be done in fall of 2008.

The generators, located a block north of the intersection of Deer and Speckled Avenues, are being replaced by new equipment that will reduce diesel emissions, said Jeff Ceccarelli, president of Sierra Pacific Power.

The new generators can produce up to 12 megawatts of electricity.

“These generators have kept the lights on along the North Shore following some of the major winter storms that have damaged one or more of the transmission lines that serve North Lake Tahoe,” Ceccarelli said. “Without some sort of back up power generation, the communities at North Lake Tahoe could be without electrical service for an extended period, which has an impact on other services, including water and sewage treatment, traffic lights, schools and medical facilities.”

Tom Christofk, air pollution control officer for the Placer County Air Pollution Control District, said the new generators will reduce annual diesel particulate emissions by approximately 95 percent.

“That benefits public health and air quality and, ultimately, water quality,” Christofk added.

Although the old generators were located outdoors, the new generators will be housed in a building with fire suppression equipment to reduce fire risk.

Removal of the old generators is scheduled to begin today. Crews will load the generators onto trucks so they can be transported to Reno. To accommodate the large trucks required to haul the equipment, there will be traffic delays on State Route 267 between Kings Beach and Truckee, particularly near the state highway’s intersection with Speckled Avenue, starting the week of April 13.

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