In order to further harden the grid and prevent electrical equipment from causing wildfires PG&E plans and prepares to fill 10,000 miles of power lines in California.
How Much Will This Cost?
This extensive and expensive project is expected to cost between $15 to $30 million dollars. This cost is going to mostly affect the already high prices of Pacific Gas & Electric customers. The cost is significant but, it will result in necessary safety and protection for the 16 million customers depending on it.
What Pushed PG&E to Make These Changes?
Although previous administrations for the company ruled against this plan because of the cost, the new CEO Patricia Poppe quickly switched that decision for the betterment of the grid.
A big push for this safer grid setup was influenced by a recent accident where, “a 70-foot pine tree 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. Equipment in 2018 killed more than 80 people and destroyed thousands of homes” (California News-Times, 1). According to the newly hired CEO Poppe, stated that it was “too expensive to not do that. Life is at a loss” (California News-Times, 1).
This was not the only time PG&E ran into trouble for causing fire damages that resulted in lives lost. Hence, this initiative is not only essential for Pacific Gas & Electric to continue their work but also is important for making the grid and its workers safer and more efficient.
Carolbull. “PG&E Will Spend at Least $15 Billion Burying Power Lines in California.” California News-Times, 24 July 2021, californianewstimes.com/pge-will-spend-at-least-15-billion-burying-power-lines-in-california/452893/.
CBS San Francisco. “PG&E Announces Major Initiative To Bury Power Lines In Wildfire Areas.” CBS San Francisco, CBS San Francisco, 21 July 2021, sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2021/07/21/pge-bury-power-lines-california-wildfires/.