Developer Connections - Third Quarter - 2017

Your partners in development

"Our goal is the seamless and successful completion of development projects, because when development succeeds, we all succeed."

In early 2016 SMUD formed the Commercial Development team as a resource for our major developer customers in the planning, coordination and connection of their project to our grid. We are your go-to-utility partner vital in the pre, mid and post development of your project.

Our energy experts will assist you in navigating the energy landscape through all phases of planning and construction and will coordinate all the touch points within SMUD. We will also serve as your liaison to facilitate integration with other utility services.

Key Developments in Folsom: Folsom South

A major milestone was achieved this spring as key projects are moving forward in the Folsom South Area. Construction commenced supporting grading and infrastructure on two key phased developments within the Folsom South plan. This mixed-use development area is located immediately south of Highway 50, bounded by Prairie City Road on the west, Highway 50 on the north, White Rock Road on the south and the Sacramento County/El Dorado County boundary on the east. These developments plan to bring 10,000 homes into Folsom over the course of many years, as well as 3.6 million sq. ft. of office and commercial space. About 30% of the project area will remain undeveloped in its natural condition, leveraging the area’s open space an inherent natural areas

Russell Ranch, developed by the New Home Company, is a 429-acre master planned development on the east side of Placerville Road. It features approximately 875 residential units on 216 acres, 164 acres of parks and open space, 14.3 acres of public/quasi-public uses (including a 9.7-acre elementary school site, and a 5-acre homeowner recreation center) and 34.5 acres of associated off-site backbone infrastructure and roadway improvements. Initial model homes are expected to be completed in late 2018 with residents moving into the neighborhood in 2019. The project was designed to take advantage of the unobstructed views of downtown Sacramento.

Folsom Ranch, developed by Westland Capital Partners, will develop land on the west side of Placerville Road towards Prairie City Road. Westland is partnering with homebuilders to develop over 8,000 residential units, as well as a town center, parks, a public high school, a middle school and elementary schools. First homes are expected to be completed by 2018. As part of the overall development, 2.6 million sq. ft. of office and commercial space is also being planned for the area.

folsom development

SMUD’s working with the development teams and the City of Folsom to ensure our facilities are sized appropriately and delivered as needed. Based on the sheer magnitude of the project area, SMUD has been actively engaged for several years to ensure adequate electrical service infrastructure is being planned for and constructed in concert with the developer’s proposed schedules. This spring, SMUD completed due diligence for the property acquisition of a future substation site that will serve the overall development. Construction has begun and is expected to be complete in winter 2018.


Power by SMUD: Sacramento Power Academy

Sacramento Power Academy is an extended training facility formed by SMUD for prospective employees embarking on a career in the utility industry. In 2015, the California Department of Industrial Relations approved SMUD's apprenticeship standards, opening the door to launch the Power Academy. SMUD is also proud to partner with the Division of Apprenticeship Standards. A few apprenticeships that Sacramento Power Academy offers are: lineworkers, meter technician, pole climbing, cable splice, substation electrician and engineer designers.

Through this academy, SMUD is working toward bringing forth the safest and most productive utility workers in the nation. The Sacramento Power Academy expands SMUD's highly respected, proven training approach to train the next generation of utility workers from across state and country.

The Sacramento Power Academy is offering the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E standard training October 17-18, 2017. This training teaches safe practices for anyone working around energized electrical equipment. This course will cover the most current requirements and standards, and focuses on calorie ratings and arc flash hazards of specific equipment required to work while it’s energized. Content is based on NFPA 70E, OSHA requirements and National Electrical Safety Code (NESC).

Register Now

Learn more about the Sacramento Power Academy.

2017 Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo

For the past 17 years, the American Public Power Association has annually hosted the Public Power Line Workers Rodeo. The rodeo allows line workers from all over the nation to come perform craftsmanship with line work and communicate their knowledge within this field. Held in San Antonio, Texas, SMUD linemen excelled in this showcase, earning Top 3 in nearly every category. SMUD apprentice, Greg Frizzell, achieved 100% on the written exam competing against 157 others from across the nation. We’re proud of the achievement our line workers who are being recognized for their expertise in the utility industry.

See how SMUD did among the best lineworkers in the nation.

Let’s start building together

The SMUD Commercial Development team is here to help you navigate the energy landscape through every phase of your project. From planning to construction, we’ll coordinate all of the touch points within SMUD and even help facilitate integration with other utility services. Take a look at our new infographic that illustrates the step-by-step process to building in SMUD’s service territory and connecting to our grid.

SMUD Energy Series: 60 years of hydro-electricity

hydro powerAt SMUD, we encourage more efficient uses of energy and we use a balanced and sustainable mix of energy sources to help lower the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced locally. We use hydro-electric power as one of our energy-efficient renewable sources of energy. Here’s a little history of our hydro-electric system.

SMUD owns and operates the Upper American River Project (UARP), located on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The plans to build the UARP were introduced by SMUD in 1948. From 1945-1960, during the postwar economic boom, SMUD customers grew from 65,000 to 170,000 – electrical demand tripled. On August 28, 1957 the Federal Power Commission issued a license to SMUD for construction of the UARP and SMUD began construction in September 1957. The Jaybird Powerhouse was the first to produce electricity on May 1, 1961. It took over one thousand workers 10 years to complete the entire system of dams, reservoirs, tunnels and powerhouses.

In 1971, SMUD completed the Loon Lake underground powerhouse. This underground powerhouse is located in a man-made cavern carved out of solid granite 1,200 feet below the surface of Loon Lake. The UARP diverts and regulates water in portions of the Rubicon River, Silver Creek and South Fork American River watersheds. The general linear alignment of powerhouses has been dubbed the “Stairway of Power,” referring to the multiple steps of power generation, that together, make up a one-mile drop in elevation over 53 miles of river.

The UARP has a total installed capacity of 688 megawatts (MW), a total gross reservoir storage capacity of over 400,000 acre-feet, and enables SMUD to store water during winter and spring months. This allows us to generate electricity during summer and other months when demand and wholesale prices are at their highest levels and natural flows are low. Operating in this way, the UARP provides about 20 percent of SMUD’s customer demand during peak load hours. In a typical year, the UARP produces approximately 1.8 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, enough energy to power 180,000 households.

Businesses can support more renewable energy through SMUD’s Greenergy® program.

Learn more.

Check out this video that shines a light on our commitment to clean energy and technology that’s good for our environment and our customers.

Developer Safety Workshop

SMUD has designed a new safety workshop with our developer customers in mind. The workshop will be held at SMUD’s Customer Service Center in the coming months. More details to follow via email. Join our mailing list! Email us at