California Public Utilities Commission Establishes its Senate Bill 884 Expedited Undergrounding Program for Power Lines

April 2024

California Land Use Law & Policy Reporter, Volume 33, Number 7

On March 8, 2024, the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission) issued Resolution SPD-15, which establishes an expedited undergrounding program under Senate Bill (SB) 884 for the large regulated electric utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison Company (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E). Undergrounding is the burying of existing overhead electric facilities – which consist of poles, wires, and other equipment – in below-ground. While undergrounding eliminates the risk of ignition that occurs when overhead electric facilities come in contact with other equipment or vegetation, undergrounding is more expensive to install than overhead lines or implementing alternative fire mitigation measures.

Subscribers to the California Land Use Law & Policy Reporter or the Environmental, Energy, & Climate Change Reporter can read the full legislative update here.