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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego Gas & Electric announced Thursday that it is implementing a slate of strategies designed to help prevent power line-sparked blazes and reduce the burdens of public-safety power shutoffs enacted during periods of high wildfire risk.
Some of the enhancements already have been put to test early this fire season, with positive results, according to the utility.
The programs, including “strategic” undergrounding of some equipment, target a 25% to 30% reduction, as compared with 2019, in the number of customers affected by preemptive blackouts during Santa Ana wind events and other periods of extreme wildfire danger, SDG&E reported.
“We recognize the impact public-safety power shutoffs have on our customers, and we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to minimize the risk of wildfires and the number of disruptions our customers experience in the future,” said SDG&E CEO Caroline Winn. “Simply put, we want to get better and will continue to solicit feedback from affected customers and communities after every fire season.”
The utility has released a free mobile application that offers updates on weather conditions and public safety electrical outages, access to “Alert Wildfire” cameras, and the opportunity to sign up for power shutoff notifications.
Additional projects slated by SDG&E for completion this year include: