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PG&E Outlines Reason for Not Turning Off Power

28 Nov

Pacific Gas & Electric decided not to shut off power in Butte County and other areas of its service territory on Nov. 8 after the start of the state’s most destructive blaze in history, the Camp Fire. By around 1 p.m. on Nov. 8, the high winds in the area had decreased. Thus, the utility […]

High, Hot Winds Prompt Utilities to Shut Off Power

15 Oct

Strong winds across wide stretches of California moved electric utilities Oct. 14 to turn off power in several areas to prevent equipment from sparking wildfires. The shut offs were preceded by notices of possible power outages. Pacific Gas & Electric cut power to 17,500 customers in Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties, and more than 42,000 […]

U.S. Senate Panel Probes Restarting Grid Post Blackout

11 Oct

Amid hurricanes, floods, fires, cyber threats, and a changing power generation resource mix, concerns are rising in Washington about the ability of the nation’s power industry to restore the grid after widespread blackouts. “The question we have to be able to answer,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), chair of the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural […]

The Buzz

2 Feb

California energy regulators and fire safety agencies are working together to try and curb the dangers of the growing numbers of intense wildfires, with a worrisome number sparked by power lines. The California Public Utilities Commission president and other officials lament the inadequacy of resources, policies and preparation during an all day meeting. Fire safety […]

CPUC Ups Ante on Fire Safety

14 Dec

Utility regulators stiffened fire safety rules for power companies Dec. 14, the last California Public Utilities Commission meeting of 2017. CPUC President Mike Picker said the new fire safety standards are needed, particularly because climate change is accelerating the risk of wildfires, for instance by causing tree mortality. Picker said that areas covered with dead […]

Wildfire Triggers Transmission Outage in Moorpark Sub-Area

5 Dec

Strong Santa Ana winds fanned wildfires in Southern California, causing a power outage to some 70,000 people in Ventura County the evening of Dec. 4. By the morning of Dec. 5, Southern California Edison had restored power to 50,000 people by “rerouting and recircuiting” power, said utility spokesperson Mary Ann Milbourn. The utility said later […]

Opinionated: Plan to Power Through Weather-Related Outages

14 Nov

By Kevin Stenson Weather has impacted California significantly this past year, particularly wildfires fed by heavy winds. Like any major weather event, there are things that went well and things that can be improved. With California being the most populated state in the nation and the state’s energy demand being the second highest, it’s important […]

PG&E Restores Power in Fire Regions

17 Oct

The massive fires that led to more than 40 deaths and torched huge swaths of Northern California tripped transmission and distribution lines maintained by Pacific Gas & Electric. Three 230 kV lines, and a 115 kV and one 60 kV line in Sonoma and Napa Counties were shorted out early last week by the Tubbs, […]

Undercurrents: Blackout Highlights Old Electrical Infrastructure

11 Jul

Aging infrastructure was on display July 8 when a high-voltage transformer used at a transmission line receiving station exploded and burst into flames in Los Angeles in the early evening. It triggered a power outage for 140,000 households and businesses. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power station, built during the 1950s, is used […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Sued for Refinery Blackout

3 Jul

Valero Refinery is suing Pacific Gas & Electric for $75 million in damages for a May 5 power outage at its Benicia refinery. The June 30 filing in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of California charges PG&E with breach of contract and negligence for failing to provide uninterrupted power— primary and […]

Calls for Conservation Protect the Grid

22 Jun

A flex alert issued for June 21 and 22 helped the state grid get though the worst of the persistent heat wave that gripped California this week without any major outages. Power demand peaked on June 20 at 44,184 MW, compared to an all-time high of 50,270 MW during the summer heat storm of 2006, […]

Aliso Canyon Gas Storage Field May Reopen

5 Apr

SoCal Gas is planning to partially reopen its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field late this summer. It plans to do so after pressure testing all 114 wells at the field and fully testing selected wells to make sure they don’t leak when gas is injected under high pressure and later withdrawn, according to media […]

SHORTS

27 Aug

Southern California Edison brought 1,118 MW worth of negawatts into the grid operator’s wholesale power market Aug. 21. Edison announced that the negawatts represent energy savings during peak demand by 320,000 of its customers. The utility hopes to expand participation in the market by its customers who have enrolled in its demand response program, in […]