Sep 13, 2018
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) reached an important milestone this month, installing its 100th new weather station this year system-wide and further enhancing its capacity to capture additional meteorological data to better predict where extreme wildfire danger could occur. The expansion is part of the additional safety precautions following the 2017 wildfires that PG&E is taking as part of its Community Wildfire Safety Program, intended to further reduce wildfire threats and keep its customers, their families and communities safe.
Since January of this year, PG&E has installed more than 100 new weather stations; four of them are in Sonoma County. Approximately 200 new stations in high fire-threat areas across its service area will be installed by the end of the year. Other counties that have received new weather stations so far this year include Alameda, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra and Tuolumne.
Data collected by these stations is streamed in real time and available to state and local agencies and the public through online sources such as the National Weather Service, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and MesoWest.
“With these new, additional weather stations, PG&E is able to capture additional real-time data related to temperature, wind speeds and humidity levels to provide improved awareness of current fire danger conditions,” said Kevin Dasso, PG&E vice president of Electric Asset Management. “Our team of meteorologists and wildfire safety experts will use this data to determine any needed actions the company can take to help reduce wildfire risks.”
One of the actions PG&E may take, as a last resort during extreme fire danger conditions, is temporarily turning off electric power lines for safety. No single factor will drive a Public Safety Power Shutoff. PG&E will take a combination of many criteria into consideration, including:
PG&E has alerted more than 570,000 homes and businesses served by electric lines in extreme-fire threat areas about the Public Safety Power Shutoff program, encouraging customers to visit pge.com/wildfiresafety for information about how to prepare. Customers are also asked to update their contact information at pge.com/mywildfirealerts to receive important wildfire safety alerts in the event PG&E needs to take this step for safety.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and pge.com/news.
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