Silicon Valley Power, the 112-year-old electric utility established by the City of Santa Clara, California, will install the 3M Aluminum Conductor Composite Reinforced (ACCR) on an existing line to substantially boost capacity without having to enlarge the towers or the right of way.

Silicon Valley Power will re-conductor a 60-kV line that principally links its Scott Receiving Station with the Northwestern Substation, through a narrow right of way in an urban neighborhood. Reconductoring with ACCR allows the line to be upgraded with minimal disturbance to the neighborhood. The utility serves just over 51,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 19-sq-mi area with a population exceeding 115,000. Its service area covers a significant portion of the Silicon Valley technology community, and includes major corporations such as Intel, Sun Microsystems and Applied Materials.

“We needed a way to significantly increase transmission capacity without the extra cost of making major structural changes,” says Kevin Keating, manager of engineering for Silicon Valley Power. “3M ACCR fit our needs exactly and at quite a savings over other alternatives.”

Silicon Valley Power joins a growing roster of utilities that have deployed 3M ACCR in a variety of circumstances in which greater capacity is needed to relieve transmission bottlenecks while minimizing environmental and economic impact, both in urban and rural settings. The list includes Western Area Power Administration; Xcel Energy; Alabama Power, a unit of Southern Company; Arizona Public Service Corporation; Allegheny Power, and Platte River Power Authority in the United States, as well as Shanghai Electric in China, ISA Group’s Companhia de Transmissão de Energia Elétrica Paulista (CTEEP) in Brazil, and British Columbia Transmission Corporation (BCTC) in British Columbia, Canada, among others.