Pacific Power Goal: Increase Bird Safety and Reduce Customer Outages

August 21, 2013

ALTURAS, Calif. – It’s for the birds, but it’s also for you.

A Pacific Power project in the Alturas and Cedarville areas will result in special coverings placed atop 972 company power poles to protect birds and help maintain your electric service. The structures in this region were identified as more likely to attract birds and therefore more likely to also put our avian friends at risk and result in bird-related outages.

“When there is a cost-effective way to protect birds and also reduce the chance of an outage inconveniencing our customers, we’ll do it,” said Jay Neil, regional operations manager. “It’s better for customers and it will be better for the birds. We’re a pioneer in this, nationally.”

Crews from Christensen Electric, a Pacific Power contractor, are now in the field in the Alturas area to implement Pacific Power’s regional plan to improve reliability for customers. The Alturas bird project is the largest Pacific Power is undertaking this year, modifying approximately one- third of all the poles in the entire area. The upgrade project is scheduled to be completed by November.

The crews will be working primarily along public roads, but in some cases, they may need to ask private property owner permission to access a particular pole. In those cases, the contractors will provide advance notice and properly identify themselves to property owners. Property owner cooperation is appreciated and helps fellow customers as well as birds.

How it works: Crews attach covers to protect the wires, transformer bushings, fuse holders, lightning arresters and jumper wires that sit on top of power poles. In addition, reflectors will be installed on some of the wires to help birds see the wires and avoid collisions.

“We have been doing these types of projects throughout the Klamath Falls area for years and our environmental services group is recognized nationally for helping develop many of the covers that are now used to help protect birds from being harmed on our facilities,” said Neil.

About Pacific Power
Pacific Power provides electric service to more than 730,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. Our goal is to provide our customers with value for their energy dollar, and safe, reliable electricity. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with almost 1.8 million customers in six western states. Information about Pacific Power is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed at