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PG & E: Probably our equipment was an "ignition point" for the deadly Fire Fire

Fire-destroyed homes.
enlarge / Aerial view of homes destroyed by campsite campfire. Three months after the deadly and devastating Camp Fire, the community begins the reconstruction process.

Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

In a statement issued on Thursday, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) said that investors would be charged $ 10.5 billion for a deadly campfire in Northern California last November.

“Although the cause of the 2018 Camp Fire is still under investigation, based on the information currently available to the company and reported to the California Public Benefit Committee (CPUC) and other agencies, the company believes it is likely that its equipment will be determined by Camp 201 is the focal point of Camp Fire, ”said PG&E to investors.

The utility claims that the Caribou-Palermo 115 kilovolt (kV) transmission line took about 15 minutes before the PG&E colleague detected a fire near the tower. In addition, "the suspension insulator, which supports a transplant bridging, is separated on the arm."

Just yesterday, a Wall Street Journal reported that PG&E delayed the upgrading of the Caribou-Palermo line for five years. "In 2013, the company told federal regulators that most of the towers, wires, and hardware parts are replacing the line," WSJ reported. The power line passes through a very difficult access area that climbs on unreachable ridges and runs through the pen. Some parts of the Caribou-Palermo line were built nearly a century ago in 1921 when the line was installed.

The California Forestry and Fire Department is still working to formally judge who was in the Fire. It was one of the most deadly fires in the history of the state, killing 85 people.

The PG & E Thursday's announcement also included a $ 1 billion award for fires in North California in 2017.

Looking forward, looking back

In January, the utility filed for bankruptcy, asking the judge to allow the company to restructure and renegotiate energy contracts against threatening debts.

PG & E had a duty to submit a fire reduction proposal for California in the future. The company claimed that "extreme weather events and dry vegetation conditions" would force more power off. He also promised "significant" "vegetation management, control of electrical distribution and transmission equipment, system hardening, improved controls and other programs".

According to the WSJsome of the necessary changes will lead to a redesign of the PG & E registration system, making it difficult to track the uplift of the transmission lines and to monitor the rest of the huge system of PG & E. "By 2015, the company will be in a state regulatory document [PG&E] "paper wall maps and pushbuttons" were used in control centers to monitor the operation of the power distribution system. “Although the utility runs 70,000 square meters and provides energy to 16 million people.

Between 2014 and 2016, PG&E was approved by the regulators to spend $ 97 million on recasting their accounting system. "End of period" WSJ "It has been estimated that the company has spent only 15% of its efforts on technology challenges and has used the others for other projects."

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