From upgrading our equipment to investing in new technologies, we are taking steps every day to protect the safety of our customers and communities. By acting now, we can help better predict when a wildfire may occur, prevent wildfires before they happen and respond quickly if one starts. Over time, these measures will reduce the need for Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) in high fire risk areas and minimize the number of affected customers.
Our 2020-22 Wildfire Mitigation Plan builds on the progress we’ve made by expanding existing programs and testing new technologies. These efforts complement the state’s enhanced wildfire efforts, which include additional funding for forest management and firefighting resources.
These are a few of the ways we’re working to mitigate wildfire risks and minimize the impacts of PSPS.
In 2019, we completed inspections on all overhead transmission, distribution, and generating equipment located in high fire risk areas. Moving forward, we are annually inspecting the highest risk structures identified by our advance risk model using ground and aerial inspections. For aerial inspections, we’re using drones and helicopters with infrared technology, which picks up heat signatures that indicate damaged equipment.
We’re installing new or improved devices and technologies to reduce the likelihood that our electrical system will be the source of an ignition. These measures are also part of our concerted efforts to minimize the number of impacted customers during a PSPS.
- Covered Conductors: 850+ miles installed, 1,200+ miles by end of 2020
- Fire Resistant Poles: 3,200+ poles installed, 6,600+ poles by end of 2020
- Protective Sectionalizing Devices: 12,000+ fuses and remote-controlled equipment that interrupt electrical current more quickly and boost reliability
Monitoring conditions is one of the many ways we can better predict wildfire risks and follow real-time weather conditions. By expanding the number of weather stations installed, we’ll be better able to take advantage of the benefits they provide. For example, the data we receive from these stations allow for more targeted PSPS events, minimizing the number of people affected.
- Weather Stations: 850+ installed by the end of 2020 with a goal of up to 2,600 by 2024
- Wildfire Cameras: 161 cameras installed thoroughly covering high fire risk areas
We’re continuing our efforts to inspect, trim, and remove trees to prevent vegetation from coming into contact with electrical equipment and potentially sparking a fire. Tall trees up to 100 to 200 feet from high-voltage power lines are also assessed to determine if they could fall into power lines.
- Inspect 1.1 million trees annually, including more than 500,000 trees in high fire risk areas, and prune nearly 750,000 of these trees
We’re providing backup generation and battery solutions to prepare our customers and communities for potential emergencies and outages. These programs and services will help minimize the impact of PSPS, especially for our most vulnerable communities.
- No-cost backup battery and solar panel for income-qualified customers who rely on medical equipment for life-support purposes and live in a high fire risk area
- Rebates on portable power stations, generators, and battery storage
- Temporary backup generation for essential services such as pharmacies, grocery stores, and gas stations, in rural communities during PSPS
As we continue to make progress with our mitigation efforts, some of our customers in high fire risk areas may still experience PSPS during potentially dangerous weather conditions. During these events, we will temporarily shut off your power to reduce the threat of wildfires.
We offer programs and resources to help you prepare for outages and other emergencies. You may be eligible for rebates or incentives for portable backup battery solutions, home solar installation, or battery storage solutions to generate your own power.