PG&E shuts off power, Santa Maria on the list

October 9, 2019

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

PG&E has shut off power in numerous Northern California counties and may cut off electricity to 800,000 customers statewide.

In a preemptive move to eliminate wildfire risk, PG&E began shutting off power early Wednesday morning, immediately impacting about 500,000 customers. PG&E announced 34 counties in Northern and Central California could be impacted by the shutoffs.

San Luis Obispo County is not expected to be affected. However, 32 customers in Santa Maria may be impacted, according to PG&E.

The utility says it is shutting off power to eliminate wildfire risk amid widespread, severe wind in much of Northern and Central California. There also may be be power shutoffs in areas not experiencing extreme weather conditions because the electric system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across regions, PG&E said.

PG&E could take up to five days to restore power to affected areas. The utility is opening community resources centers across the state with emergency supplies and electronics charging stations.

A second phase of the power shutoff is expected to take effect around noon on Wednesday. Meanwhile, SoCal Edison is also considering a power shutoff that could affect more than 100,000 customers in Southern California.

Both PG&E and Edison have been found responsible for major recent wildfires in California, which in PG&E’s case, has plunged the utility into bankruptcy.


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Niles Q

PG&E needs to just admit that they refuse to be responsible for another town being burned to the ground, costing billions.

If the government is going to make utilities liable for wildfires, the company is going to protect itself, no matter the costs to their customers or the state’s economy.

Power outages to prevent wildfires will not work if some arsonist strikes or a campfire isn’t tended to properly.

And having no power to move water around a town’s system to fight fires isn’t a good situation either.


LameCommenter

JUST SOME BACKGROUND: PG&E shut off the power for days a few years ago, all along Interlake Road in north SLO and southern Monterey counties during the large “Chimney” fire because CalFIRE asked them to do so, not under PSPS authorization which wasn’t so clearly encoded at the time. CHP closed the roads for days, also an over-reaction. What, like I can’t pull aside to let a fire crew go by? Hundreds stayed behind and NOBODY died saving property.


This left ranchers and homeowners unable to pressure pump existing water or produce more well water to fight a fire, unable to run A C or air filtration for the extensive smoke from five miles away.


Lucky, those with diesel, gas, propane or solar generators were able to continue and in so many cases, the people who remained to protect their homes and refused evacuation demands were safely able to extinguish sparks and save their own homes and generally one or two on each side of it. This evidence was left all around Lake Nacimiento.


A different solution needs to be devised besides PG&E trying to darken the homes of millions for a sky-is-falling alert. PG&E knows this but is showing their position of control.


Rambunctious

Results of California one party rule…..don’t say you were not warned….


citizensoldier

You can, with certainty, say that again.


“…like a wildfire out of control, til there was there was nothing left to burn and nothing left to prove.”


Snoid

As these outages continue this is going to be like watching a bad horror flick. There is already a report of a PG&E truck being shot at. I cant imagine living in a “bad element” area when all the lights go out. Like any other disaster looting and crimes take place from the scum who take advantage of others. Food, water, fuel shortages, angry people, fights, shootings. This will play out like the Watts riots eventually. Well done Newsome and the rest of you California shits who claim to be leaders of the people.


Humperdinck

SB167 about Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) was signed by Gov Newsom last week.

This bill only took 9 months from inception and no senate or assembly members opposed it.

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB167

I wonder how these politicians will feel about it on Monday after folks find out electric customers can’t file a claim for loss of revenue or food, because they had public forums and adequate notification?

Deenergizing a half million customers will be a NERC reportable outage that will require a full investigation. I can’t find the specific procedure PG&E is using. PG&E use to use CalFire Fire Adjective Indexes to denote which areas they only had 5 minutes to test/reenergize any line that faults and tripped breakers or they’d have to patrol the line. I suspect there is a wind component in the new procedure and guidance when to deenergize versus just cutting out the reclosing relay on overhead reclosers. The bill seems to mainly address distribution, but the Camp Fire was started by a transmission line. So, I’m guessing that hardly any transmission lines will be deenergized. Mainly because PG&E can’t drop power to substations where the relays are only fed by substation batteries for 72 hours (unless they get a generator at the substation). Two days from now T-men and DLT’s are going to be replacing a bunch of batteries on reclosers that had end-of-life batteries and won’t re-awake when power is restored up to those open reclosers. So, there will be some delay in restorations to maybe 5% of the circuits due to emergent issues that aren’t apparent until they try to restore power.

BTW, when power is cutoff during daylight hours, commercial solar power output must be curtailed also. There will be lawsuits over generators not being able to have an output path or enough customer base load to perform on their contracts.


laftch

What a confusing mess. Welcome to the future.