I've been without power since early yesterday, thanks to the PSPS initiative from PG&E. They're supposedly working on the infrastructure to make it safe from high winds and heat predicted for the week. I haven't had much in the way of high winds in my local area. Most people I've contacted haven't experienced that either.
I got the following from a friend of a friend of a friend. I'm not sure if it's just a work of fiction or not. But supposedly, this is the real root-cause for the power outage in Northern California. The "high winds" narrative is, as most people suspect, a cover story. But take it with a grain of salt:
PSPS is the acronym for “Public Safety Power Shutoff”.
New Ca law (enacted by PUC and signed by Gov Newsome) REQUIRES utilities (ALL, not just PG&E) to de-energize areas that face severe wind threat/ fire risk.
This has the Doppler effect of potentially impacting huge swaths of the State if that threat impacts a “Transmission” (500/230KV) Tower corridor(s).
When that level of shut off is enacted, you don’t just flip a switch back on. The law requires PG&E to physically/visually inspect every single piece of equipment (down voltage) of the shut down BEFORE it can be re-energized. This means every tower, line, transformer, pad apparatus, substation, pole, reclosure, etc.
This is why a 2 day event can potentially keep areas dark for several days after the threat has passed. It is a MASSIVE man hrs. labor intensive process on 24/7 overtime staffing.
PG&E loses HUGE $$ when this is enacted as thousands of meters are not spinning and the labor cost to comply is huge. They don’t want to do these. They are legally mandated to now. This is the arrangement that was brokered through the PUC to balance the conflicting liability/service reliability laws. It is all driven because of California’s “Inverse Condemnation” liability conflict with PUC’s previous fining of the Company based on outage reliability.
Prior, power shut off or outage = fine. Leave it on, and have ANY% role in a fire= 100% liability.
If a limb 1/4 mile away blew into a transmission line and brought down hot conductor starting a fire?
PG&E liable. No such thing as “Act of God” factored.
No other State in the Nation has these asinine conflicts of law.
So, to make this real. This is analogous to you knowing your daughter MAY have a bad hair dryer. Until she leaves, you shut your house main off. Now, by law, before you can flip the main switch back on, you must hire an electrician to inspect (and document) every breaker below your main, every wire in your attic, every wall switch, every outlet, etc. Then, you must one by one phase in all your breakers so you don’t shock load the system, then you have to go back and program all your digital electronics.
Multiply this by 50K square miles.
NOW, do you understand?
I don’t control things I just work IT and wish everyone to be safe during these times.
I just don't see the winds being a real factor. There were mild winds last night, but when I checked PG&E's own winds report, it never exceeded 15 MPH near me.
PG&E paid a $11 billion settlement with California wildfire insurers, related to the Paradise fires. I figure, they have no incentive to turn the power back on anytime soon, so long as this current situation results in less than $11 billion of losses.
Update: I was at dinner and got a message that my raspberry pi activated.
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