10/13/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/13/2020 22:17
Release Date: October 13, 2020
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) continues 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.
Potential Public Safety Power Shutoff Wednesday
The potential PSPS starting Wednesday evening could impact approximately 54,000 customers in targeted portions of 24 counties in the Northern Sierra Nevada foothills; the mid and higher elevations in the Sierra generally north of Yosemite; the North Bay mountains near Mt. St. Helena; small pockets in the East Bay near Mt. Diablo; a pocket of the Oakland Hills east of Piedmont (generally between highway 24 and Upper San Leandro Reservoir); the elevated terrain east of Milpitas around the Calaveras Reservoir; and portions of the Santa Cruz and Big Sur mountains.
Specifically, customers in portions of the following counties are being notified: Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Lake, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba. A small number of customers in two tribal communities also may be affected.
The potential PSPS event is still over 24 hours away. PG&E's in-house meteorologists, as well as its Wildfire Safety Operation Center (WSOC) and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will continue to monitor conditions closely, and additional customer notifications will be issued as we move closer to the potential event.
Customer notifications-via text, email and automated phone call-began late Monday afternoon, approximately two days prior to the potential shutoff. Customers enrolled in the company's Medical Baseline Program who do not verify that they have received these important safety communications will be individually visited by a PG&E employee with a knock on their door when possible. A primary focus will be given to customers who rely on electricity for critical life-sustaining equipment.
Potentially Impacted Counties
The potential shutoff will only affect about 1% of the 5.4 million customers within PG&E's service territory. For the Bay Area, we are forecasting an even smaller impact of less than 0.5%. Due to our improvements to the PSPS program and infrastructure over the course of 2020 - such as improved meteorology forecasting and guidance tools, sectionalizing and temporary generation to energize microgrids, substations and critical facilities - we were able to make this upcoming PSPS event significantly smaller in size.
We estimate that approximately 54,000 customers in the following 24 counties will be affected:
Customers can look up their address online to find out if their location is being monitored for the potential safety shutoff at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
Public Safety Power Shutoffs: What PG&E Customers Should Know
Community Resource Centers Reflect COVID-Safety Protocols
PG&E will open Community Resource Centers (CRC) to support our customers affected by the PSPS. While a PSPS is an important safety tool to reduce the risk of major wildfires during severe weather, PG&E understands that losing power disrupts lives, especially for customers sheltering-at-home in response to COVID-19. These temporary CRCs will be open to customers when power is out at their homes and will provide ADA-accessible restrooms and hand-washing stations; medical-equipment charging; Wi-Fi; bottled water; and non-perishable snacks.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all CRCs will follow important health and safety protocols including:
Besides these health protocols, customers visiting a CRC in 2020 will experience further changes, including a different look and feel. In addition to using existing indoor facilities, PG&E is planning to open CRCs at outdoor, open-air sites in some locations and use large commercial vans as CRCs in other locations. CRC format will depend on a number of factors, including input from local and tribal leaders. Supplies also will be handed out in grab-and-go bags at all CRCs so most customers can be on their way quickly. More information regarding CRC locations and resources can be found by visiting www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
Here's Where to Go to Learn More
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 23,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.