PG&E's Community Wildfire Safety Program
What PG&E is Doing to Reduce Wildfire Risks and Improve Public Safety Power Shutoffs
As the 2020 wildfire season approaches, here’s what PG&E is doing to reduce wildfire risks across our system:
Installing real-time monitoring technology so we can better understand how severe weather can impact our system and proactively respond to potential threats. Adding approximately 400 advanced weather stations this year (1,300 by 2022). Installing nearly 200 high-definition cameras in high fire-threat areas (nearly 600 by 2022). Coordinating prevention and response efforts in real time from our Wildfire Safety Operations Center (WSOC). New and enhanced safety measures to reduce wildfire threats. Pruning or removing over 1 million trees to maintain clearance from power lines. Inspecting over 15,000 miles of power lines in high fire-threat areas and making any necessary repairs. Making the system stronger and more resilient. Hardening over 240 miles of our infrastructure with stronger poles, covered power lines, and targeted undergrounding.
PG&E is also improving Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS), a statewide effort to prevent wildfires by proactively turning off power to communities when severe weather is forecast.
We are working in 2020 to make PSPS events smaller, shorter and smarter.
Smaller. Installing more than 600 sectionalizing devices capable of redirecting power and limiting the size of outages so fewer communities are without power. Installing microgrids that use generators to keep the lights on for whole communities. Conducting targeted undergrounding as part of system hardening. Shorter: Reducing restoration times by half compared to 2019 so that we restore power within 12 daylight hours after severe weather has passed. Nearly doubling our helicopter fleet (from 35 to 65) and using and using two airplanes with infrared cameras to more quickly inspect transmission lines. Adding more field crews to speed up inspections. Utilizing mutual assistance from other utility companies to support PSPS restoration inspections when needed.
Smarter: Improving our weather monitoring technology and installing new weather stations to more precisely predict the need for and timing of PSPS events. Improving customer alerts with earlier estimates of restoration timing. Upgrading Community Resources Centers (CRC) so that customers without power have a place to go for charging and other basic needs. Establishing a new collaborative working approach with cities, counties, tribes and critical service providers. Bolstering website capacity. Partnering with community-based organizations to provide resources for vulnerable customers and conduct outreach. Expanding in-language communications.