SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yesterday, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) informed the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) about an error that it is actively working to correct on an expedited basis, related to its System Inspection Program that is part of its Community Wildfire Safety Program.
PG&E’s System Inspection Program examines its electric distribution, transmission and substation equipment across its service area in Northern and Central California to find and fix potential risks to the safety and reliability of the system. In both 2019 and 2020 this included enhanced inspections of PG&E electric transmission, distribution and substation assets located in Tier 3 (extreme) and Tier 2 (elevated) High Fire-Threat Districts (HFTDs).
PG&E has determined that it did not do enhanced inspections on 24 Tier 3 hydroelectric substations in 2020, and five distribution poles in 2019 and 2020.
Although these assets make up a small percentage – less than 0.01 percent of the approximately 50,000 electric transmission structures, approximately 700,000 distribution poles and 222 substations subject to rigorous inspection under the company’s Wildfire Mitigation Plans, missing them falls short of the company’s commitment to inspect these assets. PG&E is taking immediate action to inspect these facilities by March 13 for Tier 3, and March 31 for Tier 2 facilities. PG&E is completing any high-priority repairs on assets in both tiers expeditiously.
“While these missed inspections are a small percentage in comparison to all the work accomplished in 2019 and 2020, we have to make sure that all of our work is executed and recorded accurately every time. This must be our new standard going forward. The safety of our customers, communities and workforce is our most important responsibility and no one will watch us more closely than we will watch ourselves. We expect to have these issues mitigated by the end of March and will share results of our root cause evaluation,” said Adam Wright, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
PG&E is taking this matter seriously and is implementing immediate steps to correct it. The corrective action plan includes:
- Self-reporting this matter to the CPUC, the federal monitor overseeing our probation, Governor’s Office Operational Observer and other key stakeholders.
- Conducting a root cause evaluation to determine process breakdowns and taking immediate corrective actions to meet our regulatory requirements and safety commitments.
- Completing the necessary inspections by March 13 in Tier 3, and by March 31 in Tier 2, and completing any high-priority repairs on assets in both tiers expeditiously.
- Performing enhanced inspections on these facilities in compliance with our 2021 WMP.
- Updating our records so that our enhanced inspection program is current going forward.
The company will share its findings and progress in addressing these issues with the CPUC so that they do not reoccur.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com and www.pge.com/news.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are not historical facts, including statements about the beliefs, expectations, estimates, future plans and strategies of PG&E, including but not limited to statements regarding the impact of the PG&E’s notification to the California Public Utilities Commission and the expected timing of remedial inspections. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions, which management believes are reasonable, and on information currently available to management, but are necessarily subject to various risks and uncertainties. In addition to the risk that these assumptions prove to be inaccurate, factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements include factors disclosed in PG&E Corporation’s and PG&E’s joint annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available on PG&E Corporation’s website at www.pgecorp.com and on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. PG&E Corporation and PG&E undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether due to new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by law.