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SFPUC and Treasure Island Development Authority Install Near-Term Measures to Improve Power Reliability on Treasure Island
Equipment to limit outages and improve repair times currently being installed while work starts on long-term solution to replace Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands’ switchgear
Posted Date: 7/8/2020 10:00 AM

San Francisco, CA—The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) are embarking on a series of near-term infrastructure improvements to increase power reliability on Treasure Island. 

Last month, the SFPUC completed the installation of new reclosers. These devices can prevent prolonged outages caused by temporary events such as bird strikes or fallen tree limbs. The reclosers will help limit the duration of the outages and the number of customers affected while improving restoration times. The SFPUC is also set to install fault indicators in July. Fault indicators reduce the time it takes to identify, diagnose and repair outages. 

“We pride ourselves on providing dependable electricity for our customers, and these improvements will help hold us accountable to those goals on Treasure Island,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. “With the steps we are taking now, our crews will be able to identify outages faster, restore power quicker and isolate issues to lessen the impacts to residents.”

In addition to these infrastructure improvements the SFPUC will continue to take proactive measures to maintain the electricity equipment on Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands. Those initiatives include replacing poles and ordering spare parts in advance, trimming tree branches, and conducting regular inspections of the distribution systems.

“Power outages have plagued Treasure Island residents for years, and with shelter-in-place resulting in more people staying at home for longer periods, power reliability is more vital than ever,” said Supervisor Matt Haney. “I am glad to see these improvements finally taking place to give residents long-overdue relief from frequent power outages.”

The interim measures currently taking place will increase power reliability while the SFPUC and Treasure Island Community Development (TICD) work on longer-term improvements, including constructing a new switchyard and installing new switchgear, a critical component of the power system serving Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands. The new switchgear will increase the number of electrical circuits and help isolate outages to only part of the island, reducing the number of customers affected when an outage does occur. These additional improvements are expected to be completed by January 2021. 

"With the redevelopment of Treasure Island underway, we have begun the process of replacing and upgrading the former Navy infrastructure, and the new electrical switchgear scheduled for installation next January will greatly improve system performance," said TIDA Director Robert Beck.  "In the meantime, these near-term improvements will improve system reliability during this critical period while so many residents are sheltering-in-place or working from home due to the COVID-19 emergency." 

Currently, the SFPUC is responsible for maintaining and operating Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands' power infrastructure. The infrastructure is owned by TIDA, which inherited the system from the Navy. 

Typically, electric infrastructure has a lifespan of 25 – 30 years. The infrastructure on Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island ranges from 40 – 50 years in age. Because of the advanced age of the Treasure Island infrastructure, diagnostic and repair work takes longer than a typical power outage. 

An extensive redevelopment program is underway on Treasure Island. The program will produce a new neighborhood of 8,000 homes, more than a quarter of which will be offered at below-market rates, extensive open spaces, three hotels, restaurants, retail, and entertainment venues. The new switchyard and gear is an essential part of that redevelopment plan.

About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and serves clean power for municipal buildings, residents, and businesses. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. Learn more at