(KRON) — As the Bay Area grapples with a brutal unprecedented September heat wave, the possibility of power outages and blackouts looms for many Bay Area residents. However, a PG&E spokesperson told KRON4 that currently, the utility has no plans to implement a Public Safety Power shutoff and that the state has not called for any rotating outages.
“Right now the Bay Area is looking pretty good in terms of power outages,” said PG&E Spokesperson, Deanna Contreras. “There are heat-related outages, but the state has not called for any rotating outages so any outages that customers may experience are heat related due to equipment overheating because of the multiple days of triple digit record heat that we’re seeing. They’re not Public Safety Power shutoffs. PG&E is not shutting off the power for wildfire safety either.”
Contreras also said the number of Bay Area residents currently experiencing power outages was “fewer than 5,000,” and that PG&E crews “are ready or are on standby” to tackle any heat related power outages we might see tonight.
Currently, the biggest swath of customers without power is in Santa Rosa, where about 1,600 are without power.
“The largest outage is here Santa Rosa, where about 1,600 customers were impacted early this morning,” she said.
Contreras said technicians were “still patrolling the lines and still flying helicopters to locate any fault on the line.”
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According to Contreras, PG&E has no current plans to implement deliberate power shutoffs.
“There’s no PSPs that’ve been activated. We do not anticipate initiating a Public Power Shutoff in the next seven days or more, the threshold just isn’t there. It is hot, yes, it is dry. But there are other factors that we take into consideration with this.”
Contreras said Bay Area residents were doing a good job conserving and that keeping it up would be key to making sure no shutoffs were implemented.
“Conserve, that’s the name of the game,” she said. “It’s the seventh straight day that the state has called for a Flex Alert. This is really the time to buckle down. The Bay Area’s conserving, it’s preventing those rotating outages and it’s working, because the state has not called for those. So we have to keep conserving today between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.”
PG&E employs an outage prevention model to determine where heat-related outages could likely occur. According to Contreras, two areas where they have teams ready to go are the Diablo District and San Jose.