PG&E Warns 500,000 Customers of PSPS

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) warned late on Friday (10/23), that nearly half a million of its customers to lose power amid planned Public Power Safety Shutt-offs (PSPS) as early as Sunday.  If the PSPS takes place, this would be the 5th this year for utility and the third in consecutive weeks.  PG&E revealed further stated that this time the PSPS could place impact nearly half a million homes and businesses or roughly 1.5 million people in 38 counties across Northern and Central California. 

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PG&E Says PSPS to Begin Today, Could Last 3 Days, 24 Counties Affected

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) updated its possible Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) alert this morning, stating that they continue to monitor a potentially strong and dry offshore wind event forecasted to start Wednesday evening.  Given the expected conditions, PG&E began its one-day advance notifications to customers in areas where PG&E may need to proactively turn power off for safety to reduce the risk of wildfire from energized power lines.

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PG&E Warns of 3rd PSPS Event of the Year for Northern California

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) today issued a press release warning its customers that the third Public Power Safety Shutoff (PSPS) of the year may be called this week, as a result of a forecast of high winds and dry conditions coupled with temperatures reaching the mid 90’s.  PG&E stressed that the most difficult period this week could be Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning.  However, PG&E also stated that a second event may materialize on Thursday afternoon and could last through Friday. PSPS events are designed to reduce the threat of wildfires that could be caused by high winds and [...]

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PG&E Declares PSPS Event Beginning Early Sunday Morning

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) announced late Saturday that they are declaring a Public Power Safety Shutt-off (PSPS) event beginning early Sunday morning and that they will last until Monday. Delivering the news during a press briefing, the utility said they expected the PSPS to impact nearly 89,000 customers in 16 counties across Northern California. In a statement released after the press conference, PG&E said that "The anticipated scope and timing of this event has changed from earlier announcements, based on updated weather forecasts that showed stronger wind gusts in a larger portion of PG&E’s service area.  PG&E’s in-house meteorologists, [...]

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Saturday Mid-Day Update: Historic Fires Cover the West

UPDATE9/12/2020 -- 12noon Wildfires are burning across the West, but cooler weather may be offering some hope in the coming days.  Also, just announced, President Trump will visit Sacramento on Monday (9/14) for a briefing on the California wildfires. According the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), the combined firefighting force across the West is more than 29,000 currently on the front lines of these fires.  Across the West, thousands of homes and other structures have been lost and regrettably, 26 lives so far.  NIFC also reported that evacuations are active in 6 States across the West due to the massive [...]

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More Public Power Safety Shutoffs are Coming in 2020

As reported over the last several days on GovReport, a statewide heatwave, fires in Northern and Southern California, and high winds are forcing California's in state utilities to declare or consider public power safety shutoffs (PSPS), an ability that was granted to the utilities via legislation that was signed by Governor Newsom and regulations that were later approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). As of Monday (9/8), Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), is currently in the midst of a PSPS event for 17 Northern California counties -- an event that could impact as many as 200,000 customers.  Late [...]

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Commission Says PG&E ‘Making Progress’ but Questions Remain

Testifying at the Senate Energy Committee Oversight Hearing on June 4, California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) staff said that PG&E is improving resiliency ahead of wildfire season, albeit with big unknowns. CPUC Deputy Executive Director Rachel Patterson told the Committee that PG&E is "making progress towards readiness, with some major ifs. The very biggest question will be whether the company can bring all of their lines of effort together into smart and competent execution this year." CPUC staff said that PG&E has already exceeded its target for installed transmission switches, which enable electricity to be remotely rerouted around faulty lines [...]

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Commission Approves Utility Bankruptcy Plan

On May 28, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved PG&E’s bankruptcy exit plan, the penultimate milestone for the company before it can close its Chapter 11 case ahead of the State's June 30 deadline. CPUC framed their unanimous decision as a protection of PG&E customers, wildfire victims, and clean energy goals. However, they also acknowledged the uncertainty that lies ahead as regulators and lawmakers alike prepare for the possibility of a state takeover of PG&E if the company doesn't exit bankruptcy on time or commits certain safety violations. “PG&E has consistently failed to demonstrate that it adequately understands the [...]

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Commission ALJ Recommends PG&E Bankruptcy Approval

On April 20, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Peter Allen issued a 117-page document endorsing PG&E’s new governance structure, which includes a regional restructuring that aims to establish more responsive operations after years of catastrophic wildfires and last fall's public safety power shutoff (PSPS) events. Allen’s action is another step toward ensuring PG&E can close its Chapter 11 case by the June 30 deadline mandated by AB 1054. 

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Bankruptcy Court Approves PG&E Settlement, Dismisses Last Minute Objections Regarding COVID-19

On April 7, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali rejected an attempt by wildfire victims' attorneys to notify clients that their $13.5 billion settlement with PG&E could be devalued by a stock market impacted by COVID-19.

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Commission Proposes a Path for Utility Takeover

While PG&E is continuing on its path to emerge from bankruptcy, California Public Utilities Commission (Commission) President Marybel Batjer outlined a proposed process on February 18 as to how the State could revoke the utility’s operating license if the utility again commits serious safety violations without adequately addressing them.

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Electric Public Safety Power Shut-Offs Jeopardize People with Disabilities

Pacific Gas & Electric’s recent power shut-off in Northern California vividly demonstrated the high risk to countless people who rely on life-sustaining equipment and live with chronic conditions. The rushed and unwise implementation of the power shut-off’s jeopardized those with disabilities who rely on power for mobility devices like wheelchairs and scooters, for elevator access to their homes and workplaces, and for critical home health equipment, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices for sleep apnea, ventilators and oxygen delivery breathing machines.

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