Grid Vine

By Published On: July 24, 2014

San Diego Gas & Electric received federal approval to test drones that zip over and live-stream video of sections of its service territory below. She’Lock is feeling out-detective’d with this revelation. This private eye is to be tested in remote areas that suffer wildfires and/or blackouts. Turning in her magnifying glass for binoculars, She’Lock found that SDG&E has the distinction of being the first utility to get a Federal Aviation Administration “Special Airworthiness Certificate.” That permission granted earlier this month includes an OK to train staff to commercially test drones in small sections of Eastern San Diego County. “This versatile technology would allow us to improve our response to emergency situations, such as fires, as well as complete aerial inspections in remote areas that are otherwise difficult to access, and locate the cause of power outages faster,” stated Dave Geier, SDG&E’s vice president of electric transmission and system engineering. “By using these devices, we hope to enhance the reliability of the energy network and promote public safety for the benefit of the entire region.” While monitoring flames and distribution lines, San Diego’s drones are creepy. And they are prepared to magnify—like She’Lock’s glass—privacy issues. If the pilot drone program is successful, remember SDG&E has more than 26,000 miles of transmission and distribution power lines it inspects. If there are San Diego branches of activist groups popular in the City by the Bay up north, they surely will spice up board of supervisors meetings in the more staid San Diego. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors gets regular visits from the “League of Pissed Off Voters” and naked voters. While Dr. Wattson keeps an old-fashioned paper-based notebook, the League has a Facebook page and Tumblr site, which note, “Our members post random things we're pissed off (or excited) about here.” On second thought, privacy very likely is a non-issue for naked voters demonstrating at public meetings. While She’Lock is grumbling over drones, Dr. Wattson has more than enough gossip to keep her scribbling. While there’s no labor movement at 221B Baker St., London, there’s plenty to go on about over in these parts. The $40 million the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s International Brotherhood of Electric Workers Local 18 used for training institutes is a bountiful source of gossip. Some have alleged that a chunk of the dough went into Sen. Alex Padilla’s secretary of state campaign to kill community choice aggregation. According to an aggravated Lauren Steiner, the various political action groups funneled $21,650 to Padilla in the last four months alone. “They even outspent Pacific Gas & Electric and two Southern California Edison executives who only gave $3,500 to undo community energy choice,” she asserted. The union may have outspent private utilities but if the money was used to hamper consumer choice it was used in vain. At the Senate Committee hearing that debated Bradford’s bill last month, Padilla, the committee chair, insisted it would advance only if the provision killing automatic enrollment in community choice aggregation was stripped out. And it was. She’Lock and Wattson keep their eyes open and ears to the ground to thwart violent acts. Bob Marley may be spinning in his grave. “I Shot the Tariff" is the moniker of Blymyer Engineers’ seminar earlier this month. According to the company, it “represents a world stage for sharing information and discussing trends and opportunities in the firm's global solar practice.” After she and her colleague had too much Jo recently, they were taken aback by complaints about the governor’s popular dog, Sutter Brown. The headline, “Complaints of nepotism dog California Senate” caused them to swallow hard and worry about the Gov.’s cute pooch. After the last sip, they read below the headline to discover “dog” was a verb not a noun. Last month, state senators complained of colleagues not listing open positions, making them available to other staffers, not necessarily Sutter Brown.

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