PGE Will Have Unreliable Power from Napa Through Santa Clara Til the End of 2019

PG&E is considering implementing Public Safety Power Shutoffs that may impact portions of 30 northern, central, coastal and Bay Area counties: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lake, Mariposa, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba.

Northern California fire season is from October through December. This is when there is the greatest fire potential as the Santa Ana winds pick up.

Almost everywhere from Napa through Santa Clara will be reliably unreliable from Wednesday through the end of 2019.

22 thoughts on “PGE Will Have Unreliable Power from Napa Through Santa Clara Til the End of 2019”

  1. The ones that run through the bush near my place are clearcut in many locations, but when they go over rugged valleys or similar they haven’t bothered.

    On the other hand they have hazard reduction burns during the cool damp months to make sure things aren’t too bad when it’s hot and dry.

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  2. They could do what other utilities do and that is to clear cut under the HT transmission lines. Of course in California that may be a problem.

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  3. For many years, the CPUC was at least not diligent in its oversight of PG&E, and some of us believe it was complicit in PG&E’s crimes. So at least the earlier members of the CPUC deserve some of the blame for the wildfires of the past few years (and the gas main inferno about 5 years ago).

    Whether the current CPUC is properly doing its oversight job is not clear to me.

    I do not agree with tech-seller that changing to municipal-owned power is the best solution. I would not trust political appointees to do a better job of running things. Privately-owned power companies can work well, if the regulations within which they work are properly-drawn and enforced. What went wrong with PG&E is that the California regulators did not prevent PG&E from putting profit-seeking over safety and reliability.

    Correcting PG&E will take a long time. I’m not sure that the courts and the CPUC have yet taken vigorous-enough action to do that job. I believe some of the court cases are not yet resolved, so there might still be some hope that effective steps to correct PG&E will be taken.

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  4. You get katabatic winds in Northern California, too. They just don’t have a fancy name. Plus, you just get… winds.

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  5. Look on the bright side: This’ll be a great way to get Californians used to living with unreliable power, so they won’t notice in ten years when 60% of the capacity portfolio has to come from renewables and these kind of outages happen not only on sunny, windy days but also on cloudy, calm ones.

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  6. From the CPUC’s own webpage: “The CPUC serves the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure…”

    Tell that to the forty two people that were burned alive.

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  7. PG&E is shutting off power to 800000 customers for up to 7 days. Part of their rate is tree/vegetation which they chose not to do. Later this year they will be requesting a rate hike from the PUC because of lower revenue. BOHICA

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  8. Based on the comments that others have made, I presume there has been some fires started by power lines.

    In response the power company has said it will turn off power when the risk is too high.

    Which makes sense to me.

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  9. I recall an additional angle that fire breaks were being rezoned so cronies could cash in on previously inaccessible land.
    Not sure about the veracity.

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  10. PG&E operations are already highly regulated by the California PUC. Shouldn’t the CPUC also be held accountable for failing to fulfill their stated oversight obligations?

    From the CPUC’s own webpage: “The CPUC serves the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure at reasonable rates….”

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  11. …and when their lawyers think the potential liability too high, turning power off…

    It’s not exactly an unreasonable position given what has transpired. A business must manage risks if it intends to survive in the long term.

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  12. Two things to need to happen. If PGE won’t do things properly, then it’s time to convert their operations over to municipal control. And the execs that made the faulty decisions that led to the fires need to be tried and sent to jail.

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  13. Good? What’s so good about cutting power to hundreds of thousands of people? Those weasels at PG&E are completely responsible for the mess. They could’ve been using budgetary resources to repair, maintain and upgrade the grid to prevent such things from happening in the first place. They chose not to. Those deaths are squarely on their shoulders. And yet, no one has gone to jail.

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  14. Please … let’s not have PG&E be a passive victim of unreliable power, OK?

    Oh, wait. They’re not. 
    They’re the people with their twitchy fingers on the distribution switches. 
    They’re in charge of delivering the power.
    And when their lawyers think the potential liability too high, turning power off. 

    That’s what the news story is about. 
    Nothing else.

    GoatGuy ✓

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  15. What? That report is not cohesive, it does not make sense, Santa Ana winds are a So-Cal thing, all the counties listed were Nor-Cal.

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