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PG & E fills 10,000 miles of power lines to prevent wildfires: NPR

Pacific Gas & Electric plans to fill 10,000 miles of power lines to prevent sparks that could cause wildfires.

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Pacific Gas & Electric plans to fill 10,000 miles of power lines to prevent sparks that could cause wildfires.

Jeff Chiu / AP

San Ramon, CA — Pacific Gas & Electric plans to fill 10,000 miles of power lines to prevent frayed grids from causing wildfires when electrical equipment collides with millions of trees and other vegetation. Drought-stricken California as a whole..

A difficult project announced on Wednesday aims to fill about 10% of PG & E Distribution lines and transmission lines Expected to cost between $ 15 billion and $ 30 billion, based on the current cost of the process. The utility believes it will find a way to keep the final bill at the lower end of those quotes. Most of the cost can be borne by PG & E customers, who already have the highest electricity prices in the United States.

PG & E goes safe shortly after notifying regulators that a 70-foot pine tree that fell on one of its power lines caused a major fire in the same rural area of ​​Butte County, about 145 miles northeast of San Francisco. We have strengthened our efforts. Equipment in 2018 killed more than 80 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

Since beginning in a remote area of ​​Butte County on July 13, the Dixie fire has stirred the Sierra Nevada Mountains northeast. By Wednesday, the fire had spread to an area of ​​133 square miles, forcing Plumas County Security Officer to evacuate along the west coast of the popular Lake Almanor.

A wildfire in Los Angeles in 2019 in Schirmer, California.

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A wildfire in Los Angeles in 2019 in Schirmer, California.

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In response to PG & E’s potential liability for the Dixie fire, the company’s recently hired CEO Patricia “Patty” Poppe announced plans for an underground line a few months before she said she had planned.

The former PG & E administration has resolutely resisted plans to fill long power lines due to the enormous cost.

But after Poppe joined reporters on Wednesday and PG & E in January, the best way to protect both the utility and the 16 million people who depend on electricity is to move the line underground. He said he soon realized that there was something.

“It’s too expensive not to do that. Life is at a loss,” Poppe told reporters.

The SoCal Edison truck has arrived at the site of the Transformer Tower in Schirmer, California. It is suspected to be responsible for the start of the wildfire in Los Angeles.

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The SoCal Edison truck has arrived at the Transformer Tower site in Schirmer, California. It is suspected to be responsible for the start of the wildfire in Los Angeles.

Christian Monte Rosa / AP

PG & E just said it would take years to fill the line.

However, getting the job done within the next decade requires breakthroughs. In some areas where PG & E has already filled power lines, it completes about 70 miles (123 km) annually.

PG & E expects to eventually fill more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of transmission lines annually, said Chief Operating Officer Adam Wright. Wright likened the project to the Marshall Plan, which helped rebuild Europe after World War II, but Poppe called for President John F. Kennedy’s 1962 US moon landing pledge.

The path of PG & E up to this point has been scattered by death and destruction.

Utility grids ignited a series of catastrophic wildfires in 2017 and 2018 after former leaders allowed equipment to be devastated in obvious attempts to boost profits and management bonuses. He was accused and started filing for bankruptcy in 2019.

In 2019, a helicopter dropped water on a fire on Mount San Bruno near Brisbane, California.

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In 2019, a helicopter dropped water on a fire on Mount San Bruno near Brisbane, California.

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The biggest fire in Butte County wiped out the entire town of Paradise, and PG & E pleaded guilty to 84 manslaughter last year, just weeks before one of the most complex incidents in US history. I did.

As part of bankruptcy, PG & E has set up a $ 13.5 billion trust to pay victims of past wildfires, half of which is believed to come from the shares of the company, which was behind the market. As a result, the funds are facing a shortage of about $ 2 billion.

After getting out of bankruptcy, PG & E has also been accused by California’s power regulators and a federal judge who oversees criminal probation for breaking promises to reduce the danger posed by trees near power lines. The utility was also charged with another round of fire-related crimes denying the crime.

Poppe argued that the situation is improving this year, with plans for PG & E to spend $ 1.4 billion to cut more than 300,000 trees and another 1.1 million. However, she admitted that the utility “has not made enough progress” because it is only part of the 8 million trees right next to the power line.

However, she also defended the handling of trees by PG & E, which may have caused the Dixie fire and its response. The tree looked healthy and was about 40 feet (12 meters) away from the power lines, so the risk was low, she said.

When a PG & E troubleshooter was dispatched to investigate a potential problem, he noticed that the tree had fallen and a fire could have broke out in a dangerous area he tried to extinguish before the firefighters arrived. There is sex.

“His effort is nothing more than a hero,” Poppe said.

PG & E fills 10,000 miles of power lines to prevent wildfires: NPR

Source link PG & E fills 10,000 miles of power lines to prevent wildfires: NPR

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