Safety Improvements

PG&E has made significant safety improvements and is continuing to invest in infrastructure and technology to mitigate the risk of wildfire in its service territory:

Enhanced inspections

  • In 2019, completed enhanced and accelerated inspections of more than 700,000 transmission, distribution and substation assets of its electric infrastructure in high fire-threat areas
  • Repaired or made safe all of the highest-priority conditions found during inspections of its transmission, distribution and substation assets

Improving situational awareness

  • Weather stations – 630 deployed as of 3/5/2020, another 400 by 9/1/2020
  • Cameras – 146 high-definition cameras deployed, another 200 by the end of 2020
  • Satellite data –NOAA satellite data being added into PG&E’s detection and alert system
  • Wildfire Safety Operations Center – upgraded center operates 24/7 to monitor fire threats

Hardening electric system and improving readiness

  • 171 line miles hardened in 2019; targeting 241 line miles in 2020
  • Undergrounding – selected, strategic undergrounding of distribution where key lengths of line serving isolated communities pass through high fire risk areas   
  • Sectionalization – installed 298 sectionalizing devices in 2019; targeting 592 in 2020.
  • System automation – continue to enable Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) devices and reclosers to prevent reenergization after a fault; testing Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter (REFCL) technology to automatically reclose electrical current in a downed wire

Conducting enhanced vegetation management (EVM)

  • 2,498 line miles cleared using enhanced procedures to meet important State standards on clearances; targeting 1,800 distribution line miles in 2020 (400 completed)
  • Transmission-level inspection and VM on 5,500 line-miles in high fire threat districts (HFTDs) every year, plus other areas as needed; Distribution-level VM every year for minimum 4’ radial clearance.
  • Right-of-way expansion, particularly for 60-70 kV transmission lines, should remove more lines from PSPS risk and improve aerial inspection ability for PSPS service restoration.
  • Distribution EVM occurring over next 10 year: removal of dead and diseased trees and more aggressive trimming (12’ radius at time of trim plus overhanging branches) as feasible.

Reducing Impact of PSPS

  • Reducing scope / duration / frequency – targeting to have any 2020 PSPS events affect ~1/3 fewer customers than a comparable event would have in 2019
  • Improving restoration – additional helicopters; fixed-wing aircraft with infrared technology to allow for nighttime inspections; improving restoration goal by 50%, to 12 daylight hours
  • Community Resource Centers – activated 111 safe, energized locations for customers to receive basic resources and information in 2019; targeting 171 sites in 2020
  • Microgrids / Distributed Generation (DG) – anticipate putting permanent DG at four substations by September 2020; other temporary DG solutions in procurement phase