Public Briefings on Utility Readiness for 2021 Public Safety Power Shutoffs
  • WHAT: Briefings to provide the CPUC, Cal OES, CALFIRE, and the public thorough information about the utilities’ work to prepare for PSPS in 2021.
  • WHEN:
  • WHERE: Access each briefing virtually via webcast or phone, as follows:
  • Live webcast with English or Spanish captions: www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc
    • Participants who choose to participate via webcast only will have audio and video, but will not be able to make verbal comment. If you would like to make comments during the meeting, refer to the phone-in information below.
    • For captions, after clicking on the name of the workshop, click the green button below the video for captions. Then select captions by clicking on the white icon next to the word “live” at the bottom of the video.
    • It will be recorded and archived for future viewing.
  • Phone: 800-857-1917, passcode: 7218384#
    • Participants will have audio (in English) and will be able to make comments or ask questions.
  • If specialized accommodations are needed to attend remotely, such as non-English or sign language interpreters, please contact the CPUC’s Public Advisor’s Office at public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov or toll free at 866-849-8390 at least three days in advance of the briefings.
  • Media Advisory
  • Meeting Materials
    • Coming soon

Electric Utility 2021 Staff Briefings for Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) Preparation

Utilities presented Staff Briefings to CPUC staff in June/July 2021 on their preparedness for PSPS events. Six electric utilities provide power in California. Five of the six utilities presented their plans to the CPUC staff in Staff Briefing #1. Following that briefing, utilities responded to staff data requests in Staff Briefing #2. 

PG&E Preparations for PSPS

Staff Briefing #1

Staff Briefing #2

SDG&E Preparations for PSPS

Staff Briefing #1

Staff Briefing #2

SMJU (PacifiCorp, Liberty, Bear Valley) Preparations for PSPS

Staff Briefing #1

Staff Briefing #2

 

Electric Utility 2020 Planning for Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS)

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)’s biweekly reports on PSPS preparation as ordered by President Batjer in a January 30, 2020 ruling are filed in the Commission’s rulemaking addressing de-energization for all electric utilities. PG&E’s biweekly reports can be found on the docket card of R.18-12-005.

 

History and Background

Over the last decade, California has experienced increased, intense, and record-breaking wildfires in Northern and Southern California. These fires have resulted in a devastating loss of life and billions of dollars in property and infrastructure damage. Electric utility infrastructure has historically been responsible for less than 10% of reported wildfires. However, fires attributed to power lines consist of roughly half of California history’s most destructive fires. With the continuing threat of wildfire, utilities may proactively cut power to electrical lines that may fail in certain weather conditions. Such power cuts reduce the risk of their infrastructure to cause or contribute to a wildfire. This effort is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). However, a PSPS can leave communities and essential facilities without power, which brings its own risks and hardships, particularly for vulnerable communities and individuals. From 2013 to the end of 2019, California experienced over 57,000 wildfires (averaging 8,000 per year), and the three large energy companies conducted 33 PSPS de-energizations.

In 2012, we ruled that California Public Utilities Code Sections 451 and 399.2(a) give electric utilities authority to shut off the electric power to protect public safety. This allows the energy companies (SDG&E, PG&E, SCE, Liberty, Bear Valley, and PacifiCorp) to shut off power to prevent fires when strong winds, heat events, and related conditions are present.

In 2017, fires raged in Santa Rosa, Los Angeles, and Ventura, making it one of California’s most devastating wildfire seasons. In response to the 2017 wildfires and Senate Bill (SB) 901, we revised earlier guidelines on the de-energization of power lines and adopted the most current set of PSPS guidelines on June 5, 2020.