Based on accident investigations and/or complaints of electric or communication utility facilities, the Electric Safety and Reliability Branch may initiate special programs or projects to review current safety regulations, recommend development of safety standards, and participate in Commission workshops and proceedings on electrical safety matters. Here are some projects the Electric and Communication Facility Safety Section (ECFSS) is currently working on:
Substation Maintenance General Order
On December 20, 2003 a fire occurred at PG&E's Mission substation, an indoor substation located in the heart of downtown San Francisco. Service to a substantial part of the City was interrupted. In Decision No. 06-02-003, the Commission found that the fire was preventable and approved a settlement among the Commission's Consumer Protection and Safety Division, the City and County of San Francisco, and PG&E. Among other things, PG&E agreed to fund a project by ESRB to develop a substation inspection general order. ESRB has been sending staff to substation maintenance conferences and training and has held one meeting with utilities to discuss possible approaches to the general order. ESRB plans to use a collaborative process similar to that used to develop the other safety general orders (GOs 95, 128. and 165).
CPSD's Investigation of November 30 and December 1, 2011, outages in Southern California
On November 30, 2011 and December 1, 2011, powerful winds swept through Southern California Edison Company’s (SCE) territory knocking down utility facilities, uprooting trees, and causing prolonged power outages. Two-hundred forty-eight wood poles and 1,064 overhead conductors were affected. The highest number of simultaneous customer outages was 226,053. Full restoration was completed at 6:21 AM on December 8, 2011. There were no reported injuries or deaths due to this incident.
The Consumer Protection and Safety Division (CPSD) of the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) investigated the cause of the failed poles, SCE’s restoration effort, and SCE’s communication with the general public and governmental agencies during the incident. The report could be found by clicking CPSD Preliminary report on SCE's 2011 outages.