On Wednesday, members of the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee heard testimony from the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities — Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) — laying out how they plan to address future wildfire mitigation efforts and public safety power shut off (PSPS) events in the wake of recent utility-caused catastrophic wildfires. Each utility gave an overview of their recently-submitted wildfire mitigation plan (WMP), which was due to the California Public Utility Commission in early February 2020, as well as a report on how they expect to utilize PSPS events to avoid future wildfires in the coming months while they implement infrastructure hardening measures.
Committee members were particularly interested in learning about timelines for implementation of WMPs, particularly since PSPS events have proved disruptive to communities throughout the wildland-urban interface and, in some instances, actually created their own emergency situation by shutting down power for several days. RCRC attended the hearing and offered testimony regarding the need for enhanced communication between utilities and local governments both when implementing the WMPs and when initiating a PSPS event, particularly since counties operate a number of critical facilities and can help facilitate communication with local residents.
All presentations from the utilities can be downloaded from the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee website here.