TDPUD Board Adopts Annual Wildfire Mitigation Plan

TDPUD Board Adopts Annual Wildfire Mitigation Plan

July 9, 2024

At Truckee Donner Public Utility District’s June board of directors meeting, the board adopted the agency’s annual Wildfire Mitigation Plan, approved the audited financial report for fiscal year 2023, approved contracts needed to deliver on crucial capital projects and heard a workshop presentation from the Northern California Power Agency on the state’s energy policy.

Wildfire Mitigation Plan

Each year, TDPUD is required to update its Wildfire Mitigation Plan and submit it for third-party audit. This document outlines the steps TDPUD takes to reduce the risk of fire ignition from its equipment, including vegetation management and operational and engineering best practices. Some of these strategies include weather monitoring, increased design and construction standards for the electric system, a robust vegetation management program, frequent equipment and infrastructure inspections, a “one shot” recloser policy, and creating de-energization standards. Key changes in the 2024 plan include new tracking metrics, like vegetation management data and tracking the number of red flag and high wind days in a season.

Recent Emergency Pole Replacements

TDPUD linemen crews had a busy start to the month, performing three emergency pole change outs in a single week, one in the middle of the night. All three were caused by car accidents that resulted in damaged power poles. Crews assembled, restored power to as many customers as possible, and got work underway to replace the pole. Pole replacements require a complicated process that takes a few hours, multiple trucks, multi-agency coordination, and a lot of personnel.

Audited Comprehensive Financial Report

TDPUD is required to have its financial records audited by independent auditors every year, and their final report reviewing fiscal year 2023 was presented to the board. The auditors gave an “unmodified” or “clean” opinion on TDPUD’s financial statements, which is the highest level of assurance an auditor can provide relative to the fairness and accuracy of the financial statements being presented. TDPUD has been recognized for its excellence and transparency in financial report every year for the last three years with industry awards.

NCPA Workshop

The Northern California Power Agency presented a workshop on California energy policy and how these regulations will affect TDPUD’s operations now and in the future. NCPA says that California regulatory agencies set long-term aspirational goals, and then it’s up to the utilities to decide how they are going to deliver on them and comply.

The regulatory burden on TDPUD is getting more complicated and costly as the regulations dealing with clean energy procurement, greenhouse gas reduction and electric vehicles move into later stages and requirements increase. Today, a lack of available clean energy resources and long construction timelines for new generation resources has presented a new hurdle to meeting these mandates. Since all California utilities must meet increasing renewable percentage requirements in the coming years, they are competing for the same resources, which at this time are limited. TDPUD must consider these obstacles when planning for Truckee’s energy future.

Electric Utility Updates

The board approved a number of contracts and procurements for TDPUD’s electric department:

·      TDPUD staff creatively navigated around supply chain issues by capitalizing on an opportunity to purchase a bucket truck the agency has been renting. Without this purchase, estimated delivery times could be several years for a new truck order to be fulfilled.

·      The board approved a contract to engage an engineering consultant, Traverse Consulting Inc., to help TDPUD staff execute on the large number of infrastructure and local development projects it has planned for the next two years.

·      The board approved a contract with Aspen Environmental for the development of alternative electric utility rates, which was a need identified in TDPUD’s first Integrated Resource Plan, presented earlier this year.

·      TDPUD is restructuring its existing contract with Red Mesa Tapaha Solar Farm, in order to secure lower rates by pre-purchasing energy. This will reflect a savings to TDPUD’s forecasted energy procurement budget.

Information about TDPUD board meetings and access to agendas, minutes, live streaming and archived video can be found at