Pacific Gas & Electric(PG&E) shut off power today to over 800K customers(2.5 million people) in California in a scheduled power shutoff.
PG&E said that,”To protect public safety, PG&E has turned off power due to gusty winds and dry conditions combined with a heightened fire risk. Once the weather subsides and it is safe to do so, PG&E crews will begin patrolling power lines, repairing damaged equipment and restoring customers”.
PG&E went on to state that,”Outages (weather event plus restoration time) could last longer than 48 hours. For planning purposes, PG&E suggests customers prepare for outages that could last several days”.
California Governor Gavin Newsom stated that,”While the frustration that Californians feel as they deal with the impacts of these power outages is warranted, the purpose of utilities across our state conducting PSPS(Public Safety Power Shutoffs) is to protect communities against the real threat of wildfires due to existing weather conditions. Our priority is to protect people and to ensure that communities are safe.”
In response to the shutoff California Senator Scott Wiener said,” It’s hard to overstate the impact of this massive rolling blackout, affecting 2.5 million people. People rely on electricity for their medicine, their food & their livelihoods. This is a completely unacceptable state of affairs. We can’t let PG&E normalize these mass blackouts”.
PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January of this year and in May the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) made a statement about the 2018 fire that killed 85 people and burned 150,000 acres,”After a very meticulous and thorough investigation, Cal Fire has determined that the Camp Fire was caused by electrical transmission lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electricity (PG&E) located in the Pulga area”
That same day in May when Cal Fire determined that PG&E was responsible for the fire, PG&E responded by saying,”Cal Fire announced today that it has determined that PG&E electrical transmission lines near Pulga were a cause of the Camp Fire. PG&E accepts this determination”.