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BLOG > October 2019 > California PG&E Cuts Power to 600,000+

California PG&E Cuts Power to 600,000+

California PG&E shuts down power to businesses and residents in unprecedented attempt to prevent wildfire damage during high wind. As many as 2,000,000 customers could loose power. This could be repeated in coming years and also followed by other utility providers across the state.

Power Outages for Multiple California Counties

No Power = No Fires Caused by Electrical Lines
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is the biggest power supplier in California. On Wednesday, October 9, 2019, they shut down power to 34 counties in Northern California. This is considered a planned power outage. They attributed this to the danger of the possibility of high wind speeds and dry conditions causing electrical initiated wildfires. The planned cutting off of power to customers in two phases. As of today, more than 600,000 business and residential customers have lost power. This could increase to 800,000 additional customers in the first phase. The second phase will see power loss for an additional 234,000 more customers. A total of 2,000,000 customers could have powered lost. Once the conditions pass, it could take up to five days for power to return. 

This is the states' biggest planned power outage. The counties of Humboldt, Shasta, Tehama, Plumas, Utte, Glenn, Mendocino, Lake, Colusa, Yuba, Sierra, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Kern, Santa Barbara, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Alameda, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Solano, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, and Yolo are all affected by the power outage. To see actual details from the PG&E control room, inclduing how many thing quickly went wrong causing roads and businesses to go dark and their website crasshed down, visit this page on the New York Times site.

California Department of Forestry and Fire increased its staffing and said the winds will be the strongest the region has seen in two years. Sumeet Singh, head of Community Wildfire Safety Program said, "This is a last resort." Governor Gavin Newsom made the following statements on the actions of PGE listed below
  • "People should be outraged by PG&Es move"
  • "No one is satisfied with this, no one is happy with this"
  • "The utility needs to upgrade and fix its equipment so massive outages are not the norm going forward"
Cloverdale Mayor Melanie Bagby said, "It's inexcusable that we're in this position. We pay our bills, and we gave PG&E a monopoly to guarantee we would have reliable power." October 10, 2019 marks the second day power has been secured by PG&E, and more than 1,000,000 customers are without power. Outages are not limited to affected areas because power has to be cut to an entire grid. This appears to be a power cut in anticipation of windy weather from a forecast. Scott Strenfel, PG&Es principle meteorologist, said this is a part of a California-wide weather system that will produce Santa Ana winds in the next day or so. For more information Go to Lights out: Power cut in California to prevent deadly fires.

Using the equation provided by the PG&E experts, the Santa Ana winds could begin in the next day or so. If the Santa Ana winds begin on 10/12/2019 and last three days, the wind event would end on 10/15/2019. Allowing an extra five (5) days for PG&E to complete an inspection on the entire grid, and pushes an approximate date to 10/20/2019 for the return of utility power. This is a true event sparked by a weather forecast. Can other power companies throughout the United States secure power when they choose? 

A backup generator can provide electrical service when power is not available from the utility supplier. Generator Source has more than 37 years of experience providing power solutions. We have a large selection of diesel and Natural Gas (NG) generators in stock. Often, we can arrange for shipping within 24 hours of purchase completion. Our stock includes new, surplus, and preowned generators. All preowned generators must pass a 31-point inspection prior to sales advertisement. Go to Inventory to see our generators. 

Generators are Defense Against Power Outages

Rental Generator Destined for Job Site
Electrical customers cannot control when power outages occur. Generally, these outages are caused by damage to equipment because of acts of nature. In the past, scheduled shutdowns to the grid were for repairs or maintenance. Now we can add power companies securing power for a lengthy amount of time to the equation. The finical cost to both business and individuals grows greater each day power is secured.

The best offense is a defense when utility power fails. Diesel and NG engine-powered generators offer an option during power failures. Generator engines fueled by natural gas can be operated as long as the utility natural gas supply is not interrupted. Generator engines fueled by diesel do not need any utility support. They operate from fuel supplied by diesel tanks. Generators are manufactured to satisfy most any operational requirement. The three styles available are:
  • Outdoor - Engine, generator, and radiator are mounted on a skid. The skid framework normally contains a fuel tank sized for engine consumption. A weather-resistant or weather-tight sound attenuated container surrounds the unit. Ready to be placed on a flat level surface (rated for weight of generator operation) and connected to the Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS). No Auxiliary support systems are needed for this system. Require trucking and crane or fork truck services to unload.
  • Indoor - Engine, radiator, and generator are mounted on a skid. The generator is installed indoors and requires support from auxiliary systems. Day tanks directly supply fuel to the engine. Primary fuel tanks supply the day tanks, generally controlled by an automated system. Exhaust must be routed from the engine exhaust manifold or muffler. Radiator is connected to cooling louvers that provide outside air access. If the room generator is located in does not have direct outside air access a Heat Exchanger (HEX) system can be used.
  • Portable - Outdoor generator concept manufactured on a trailer. All trailers are Department of Transportation (DOT) approved. Large generators have 5th wheel connections to be towed by a semi-truck. Smaller generators have ring & pintle or ball & hitch connections, size dependent. Popular in the rental and construction industry because of ease of movement.
When unexpected utility power outages occur, some companies elect to rent generators until the power outage concludes. Rental generators offer a no-maintenance approach to power during a utility outage. Our Rental program offers all sizes of generators ready for operation. It also includes a lease-to-own option. We provide turn-key backup or emergency power services. Contact Us for any generator troubleshooting, maintenance, testing, repair, or complete system installations.

Diesel Blog Team | 10/10/2019 1:25:37 PM | 0 comments
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