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Given Strain on Power Grid During Excessive Heat, PG&E Begins Rotating Power Outages at Direction of State Grid Operator

Outages Expected to Affect Approximately 200,000-250,000 Customers in Rotations of About One Hour Each; PG&E Is Not Calling A Public Safety Power Shutoff

Release Date: August 14, 2020
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has been directed by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to turn off power to approximately 200,000 to 250,000 customers at a time in rotating power outages given the strain on the power grid during the statewide heatwave. Other power utilities in the state are being directed to take similar actions.

The power will be turned off in rotating blocks until about 11 p.m. Power could be out for about one hour for each block.

Californians are being urged to continue to conserve power until 11 p.m. tonight to reduce power usage as supplies run tight during the peak period today.

Rotating outages are not Public Safety Power Shutoffs, which are conducted during specific high fire threat conditions.

Due to the emergency, PG&E will be unable to notify customers in advance of the power shutoffs, which could occur anywhere within PG&E's service area.

CAISO oversees the larger power grid and balances energy demand with supply. Today's heatwave greatly increased power demand and has the potential to outstrip resources for a few hours today.

"The safety of our customers and the communities that we serve is PG&E's most important responsibility. We urge our customers to take immediate steps to reduce their power usage. We will work to restore power safely and as quickly as we are able,' said Michael Lewis, Interim President of PG&E.

PG&E has already implemented programs with key customers to reduce power usage today but asks for more voluntary efforts by customers to reduce overall power use.

About PG&E

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

 

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