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PG & E: Our equipment is likely to be "ignition point" for deadly Camp Fire



  Home amount destroyed by fire.
Enlarge / An aerial view of homes destroyed by Camp Fire in Paradise, California. Three months after the deadly and devastating Camp Fire, society has begun the reconstruction process.

Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

In a statement on Thursday, California supply Pacific Gas and Electric (PG & E) investors told it would cost a $ 1

0.5 billion charge related to the deadly Camp Fire who burned through Northern California last November.

"Although the cause of firefighting in 2018 is still being investigated, based on the information currently known to the company and reported to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and other agencies, the company believes that its equipment is likely to Be determined to be a hotspot for 2018 Camp Fire, "PG & E told investors.

The supply continues to disclose that its Caribou-Palermo 115 kilovolts (kV) transmission line is denatured approximately. 15 minutes before a PG & E employee observed a fire near a tower on the line. In addition, "a suspension insulator supporting a transposition switch separated from an arm" on that tower.

Yesterday, Wall Street Journal announced that PG & E delayed upgrades to the Caribou-Palermo line for five years. "The company told federal regulatory authorities in 2013, it planned to replace many of the towers, wires, and hardware chips on the line," WSJ reported. The transmission line runs through a very difficult access area, climbs over inaccessible heights and winds over the spring river. Some of the Caribou-Palermo line components are almost a century old dating back to when the line was installed in 1921.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is still working on an official decision on who was to blame for the Camp four. It was one of the deadly wildfires in state history and killed 85 people.

PG's Thursday's warrant also included a $ 1 billion charge related to fires that its equipment caused in northern California in 2017.

Moving forward and looking back [19659009] The utility was filed for bankruptcy protection in January and requested that a judge allow the company to restructure and renegotiate energy contracts in the face of threatening debt.

PG & E has also been required to submit a fire fighting proposal for the coming summer in California. The company said it would more aggressively turn off power in response to "extreme weather conditions and dry vegetation conditions." It also promised "substantial expansions" in "vegetation management, inspection of electrical distribution and transmission facilities, system hardening, improved controls and other programs." According to WSJ some of the necessary changes will come in the form of a review of PG & Es's registration system, making it difficult to track where the transmission lines are upgraded and which parts of PG & Es are massive. system still needed attention. "Until 2015, in a state regulatory document [PG&E]the company used" paper wall cards and push pins "in control centers to track electricity distribution system operations." It is despite the fact that the supply controls 70,000 square kilometers and provides power to 16 million people.

Between 2014 and 2016, PG & E received regulatory approval to spend $ 97 million on the audit of the record processing system. "At the end of the period, WSJ wrote that" the company in archiving had estimated that it had only spent 15 percent of it due to technological challenges and used the rest for other projects. "


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