Patrols and Inspections Confirm at Least 52 Instances of Damage or Hazards to Electric Equipment During the Offshore Wind Event
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has restored power to essentially all customers who can receive service and were impacted by the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event that started Monday, Sept. 7.
The PSPS event affected nearly 172,000 customers in 22 counties: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Humboldt, Kern, Lake, Lassen, Mariposa, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne and Yuba.
Once the severe weather subsided and the weather "all clear" was given, PG&E crews began patrols on the ground early yesterday morning to inspect more than 9,880 miles of transmission and distribution power lines for damage or hazards.
Initially, PG&E paused some air inspections due to unsafe flying conditions caused by smoky and hazy skies, but by noon Wednesday, about half of PG&E’s aircrafts were flying. PG&E crews began restoring customers in areas where they found no damage or hazards to electrical equipment. In areas where equipment was damaged by the severe wind event, crews worked safely and as quickly as possible to make the repairs and restore those customers.
Essentially All Customers Restored
PG&E now has restored power to essentially all PSPS-affected customers who are safe to serve. Less than 1,700 customers remain out of service at this time in Butte, Humboldt, Plumas, Sierra and Trinity counties. All customers in tribal lands have been restored to service. All of these customers are expected to have service restored by 8pm PST this evening.
Smoky and hazy skies again delayed or paused some PG&E air patrols today. Ground patrols faced challenging terrain in some areas where air patrols were grounded due to smoke. Once weather conditions improved, and first responders allowed access to previously restricted areas, PG&E was able to begin patrols, make repairs where necessary and safely restore power to those remaining customers.
Remaining Customers to be Restored as Soon as Safety Permits
A small group of 6,800 customers in Butte, Humboldt, Plumas, Trinity and Yuba counties are unable to receive power at this time due to two factors: ongoing threats from wildfires and requests from first responders to keep power lines de-energized for assisting firefighting efforts and to keep firefighters safe. Power restoration may also be delayed for the 700 customers served by electric equipment that was damaged during the offshore wind event. PG&E will restore power to these customers as soon as it is safe to do so.
Damage and Hazards Identified
Preliminary data shows 52 instances of weather-related damage and hazards in the PSPS-affected areas. Examples included downed lines and vegetation on power lines. If PG&E had not de-energized power lines, these types of damage could have caused wildfire ignitions.
More Information on PG&E PSPS Events
PG&E’s goal is to have essentially all customers affected by the PSPS who can receive power to be restored within 12 daylight hours of the weather "all clear" for each affected area.
PG&E uses a PSPS only as the last resort to protect community and customer safety against wildfires, given dry and windy weather, dry vegetation and an elevated fire risk across portions of its service area. Wind gusts as high as 66 mph were recorded during the PSPS event.
PG&E will submit a report detailing damages from the severe weather conditions to the California Public Utilities Commission within 10 days of the completion of the PSPS.
For more information on the PSPS event, visit https://pgealerts.alerts.pge.com/updates/.
Prevention, Preparedness and Support
It is important that PG&E has your current contact information so you can be notified and better prepared if a wildfire or PSPS event may impact your home or business. To set up your alerts, visit pge.com/alerts.
With the increased wildfire threat our state faces, PG&E is enhancing and expanding our efforts to reduce wildfire risks and keep our customers and communities safe. Our Community Wildfire Safety Program includes short, medium and long-term plans to make our system safer. For tips on how to prepare for emergencies and outages, visit our Safety Action Center at safetyactioncenter.pge.com.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 23,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200910006048/en/