Longest Power System Underground Transmission Line Completed

By Deborah Hong

LADWP has completed a major underground transmission project to improve power reliability for dense Westside communities.

Scattergood-Olympic Cable A Transmission Project, a critical piece of the Department’s plan to replace aging power infrastructure, features the city’s longest underground transmission cable at 11.4 miles. The cable is more than 6 inches in diameter and weighs 35 pounds per foot. The $130 million transmission line begins in West Los Angeles and runs south to past Westchester, and serves communities along that corridor as well as those as far north as the Pacific Palisades. It also connects to the citywide high-voltage transmission grid, ensuring reliable electric service for millions of Angelenos.

“This project and other transmission line upgrades are critical parts of transforming L.A.’s power supply and rebuilding our aging power grid infrastructure so that we can effectively deliver increasing amounts of renewable power to our valued customers,” said Reiko Kerr, Senior Assistant General Manager of Power System Engineering, Planning, and Technical Services.


The new transmission line is an addition to the original line which began commercial service in 1974 and had been experiencing reliability issues. The original line will be used a backup, should it be needed. With the completion of Scattergood-Olympic Cable A, power system reliability for western Los Angeles has been enhanced with improved system flexibility. It also allows for more efficient use of power generation resources, including LADWP’s Scattergood Generation Station.

Stretching from Scattergood Generating Station near LAX to the Olympic Receiving Station in West LA, the Scattergood-Olympic Cable A line operates at 230 kilovolts (kV) and can transfer 656 megavolt amperes (MVA). The cable is connected through underground vaults that are located less than half a mile apart, which reduced the cost of installation and will improve reliability.


Employees celebrate completion of the Scattergood-Olympic line on September 26, 2018. (Photo by Chris Corsmeier)

The project began in 2008, and constructing the line was no small feat. Under the leadership of Kishan Kasondra, project manager in the Power System’s Major Projects and Project Management section, the project was a great example of excellent cooperation and communication. As the line runs along several busy corridors in western Los Angeles, completing the project required close coordination with multiple agencies, including Caltrans, the Federal Aviation Administration, Coastal Commission, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, Los Angeles Council District 11, five neighborhood councils and the City of Culver City.

One of the biggest tasks the project team faced was installing the cable across the Lincoln Bridge through Ballona Creek, which required the completion of a thorough two-year study for the permit to be approved. “The team worked hard and found solutions to some interesting challenges,” said Kasondra.

(Top photo by Art Mochizuki)