Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has restored power to more than 60,000 customers impacted by the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event that started Monday night, Sept. 7.
The PSPS event impacted 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 began the patrol and restoration process. All counties have been fully cleared for patrol and restoration. In weather “all clear” areas, PG&E crews began patrols on the ground early this morning to start inspecting more than 10,750 miles of transmission and distribution power lines for damage or hazards. PG&E paused some inspections by air due to unsafe flying conditions caused by smoky and hazy skies. About half of PG&E’s aircrafts are currently patrolling.
If inspections find no damage or hazards to electrical equipment, PG&E crews can begin restoring customers. If any equipment was damaged by the severe wind event, the damages will be repaired before customers will be restored.
Preliminary data shows 11 instances of weather-related damage and hazards in the PSPS-impacted areas. Examples include downed lines and vegetation on power lines. If PG&E had not de-energized power lines, these types of damage could have caused potential 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 only uses a PSPS 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 actual damages from the severe weather conditions to the California Public Utilities Commission within 10 days of the completion of the PSPS.
PG&E’s PSPS Restoration Process
After severe weather has passed, PG&E inspects the electric system for wind and debris-caused damage to make sure it is safe to turn the power back on. The process PG&E follows includes:
- Inspect – PG&E crews work to visually inspect for potential weather-related damage to the lines, poles and towers. This is done by foot, vehicle and air.
- Repair – Where equipment damage is found, PG&E crews work to isolate the damaged area from the rest of the system so other parts of the system can be restored.
- Restore – Once the poles, towers and lines are safe to energize, PG&E’s Control Center can complete the process and restore power to affected areas.
- Notify Customers – Customers are notified that power has been restored.
For more information on the PSPS event, visit https://pgealerts.alerts.pge.com/updates/.
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.