Category Archives: PG&E

PG&E’s Pit 5 Powerhouse Road Closed for Safety During Repair Work

REDDING, Calif. —Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) temporarily has closed to the public the Pit 5 Powerhouse Road near Big Bend while a contractor safely repairs road damage caused by winter landslides.

Repairs are expected to be completed by late fall and the road reopened. PG&E owns the 4-mile road, which leads to its Pit 5 powerhouse and James B. Black Day Use Area along the Pit River in eastern Shasta County. The day use area is also closed for the recreation season due to access and storm damage.

The road also leads to the James Black Bridge, which leads to Oak Mountain Road.

The public can still reach Iron Canyon Reservoir via Big Bend Road.

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PG&E flying low to patrol for dead trees

From PG&E

REDDING, Calif.—As part of its response to California’s tree mortality crisis, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will conduct low-flying helicopter patrols in Shasta, Tehama and Trinity counties on June 28 and 29 to identify dead trees that could pose a wildfire or other public safety risk.

On June 28, flights will occur over the eastern Shasta County communities of Big Bend, Lake Britton, Fall River Mills, Fall River Lake, Cassel, Hat Creek and Old Station.

On June 29, flights will occur from Platina in Shasta County to Wildwood in Trinity County, and over the Tehama County communities of Paynes Creek, Manton, Mill Creek and Mineral. Depending on clear weather conditions, flights will occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. for both days.

Residents are advised that the helicopter will fly low – about 200 to 300 feet – along distribution power lines, and higher in areas where livestock are present.

Even with the recent winter storms, five years of drought in California have caused millions of trees to die or become structurally compromised. That’s why we are taking extraordinary measures to help keep the communities we serve safe,” said Kamran Rasheed, manager, PG&E vegetation management.

Every year, PG&E patrols and inspects all 134,000 miles of its overhead electric lines. Since the tree mortality crisis began, the energy company has been inspecting trees along power lines in high fire-danger areas a second time, six months after its annual patrol because weakened trees can die quickly and could fall into power lines and cause an outage or fire.

Last year, PG&E conducted second patrols on 68,000 miles of power line, and in 2017, expects to patrol 73,000 miles of line a second time. The company will patrol about 10,750 of those miles by helicopter.  

PG&E is using a contract helicopter service to fly foresters over the area to inspect trees. Patrolling by air allows the company to cover many miles quickly and efficiently, and reduces impacts on the ground.

 

 

If patrols identify dead trees, PG&E will send inspectors on foot to verify a tree is dead, and then contact the home or land owner to schedule removal.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.

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Filed under Big Bend, Burney Basin Days, Lake Britton, PG&E

PG&E EXPECTS HIGH SUMMER WATER LEVELS AT LAKE ALMANOR, BUCKS LAKE

From PG&E:

CHESTER, Calif. —Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced today that Lake Almanor and Bucks Lake water levels are projected to be above normal this summer due to record-setting precipitation this season.

PG&E announced the lake level projections today at the 2105 Lake Level Committee meeting in Chico, which is held most years to review and discuss PG&E’s planned water operations for Lake Almanor and Bucks Lake for the remainder of the year. The committee name refers to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) project no. 2105, which is the license number for PG&E’s Upper North Fork of the Feather River hydroelectric project.

Kevin Richards, a hydrologist in PG&E’s power generation department, stated at the meeting that PG&E plans its operations to balance recreation, the environment, electric power generation and other needs. With the best precipitation season on record for the northern Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades mountain ranges, Lake Almanor will be about four feet higher than normal this summer, which is similar to last year’s levels.

Total precipitation for season to date in the Lake Almanor basin is at 190 percent of normal, and the spring runoff is forecast to be 177 percent of normal, Richards reported.

This year, based on current data, a moderate summer electrical demand, and historical modeling, PG&E projects Lake Almanor levels will reach approximately 4,492 feet elevation by July 4, which is about four feet higher than normal for that date. The level is projected to be approximately 4,487 feet by Labor Day.

For Bucks Lake, levels are also higher than normal and will remain very full, above 5,155 feet elevation through July 4, which is about three feet higher than normal for that date. The level is projected to be approximately 5,143 feet by Labor Day.

Lake Almanor receives much of its water from volcanic aquifers in the Southern Cascade Mountain Range which release a steady year-round flow of water from springs. Bucks Lake is in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and largely relies on surface runoff from the current season.

PG&E expects Butt Valley Reservoir to be within normal operating range this summer.

PG&E encourages the public to take appropriate safety precautions when recreating in and near water:

  • Obey all warning signs and restrictive buoys while swimming or boating.
  • Use the Buddy System. Never fish, swim, boat or raft alone.
  • Don’t dive or jump into unfamiliar water. Shallow water or submerged trees or rocks could cause serious injury.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy company in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/ and http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.

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PG&E BUILDING NEW GAS COMPRESSOR STATION IN BURNEY

PG&E press release March 6:

BURNEY, Calif.— Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is building a new gas compressor station east of Burney as part of its ongoing effort to deliver safe and reliable natural gas to the Burney and North Valley communities.

Construction is scheduled to resume in March and continue through the end of the year to build a 5,000-square-foot facility to house a new compressor station and equipment. Last fall PG&E worked with the contractor to grade the site and will lay the foundation this month. The new structure will match the square footage and height of the existing building.

“In addition to improving the safety and reliability of our natural gas system, construction of this new compressor station will bring additional support to the Intermountain economy as about 60 to 70 workers will be needed at various stages throughout the project,” said Carl Schoenhofer, senior manager of PG&E’s North Valley Division.

PG&E is upgrading its existing gas compressor station at the site, which ensures proper gas pressurization in two of PG&E’s main transmission pipelines that run from Oregon to the Bay Area. The new facility will be more efficient, with state-of-the-art monitoring and control systems.

The facility is located east of Burney in a forested area.

PG&E does not anticipate any impact to natural gas customers while the project is underway.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and pge.com/news.

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Filed under Burney, PG&E

PG&E flying low in Eastern Shasta County to check for drought-stricken trees

REDDING, Calif. – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will fly low by helicopter in the mountains of eastern Shasta County on Wednesday and Thursday (Feb. 22 and 23) to check for drought-stricken trees near power lines.

Flights will occur over the communities of Big Bend, Round Mountain, Oak Run, Montgomery Creek and Whitmore.

Residents are advised that the helicopter will fly low – about 200 to 300 feet – along distribution power lines.

PG&E is using a contract helicopter service to fly foresters to check for trees weakened by the drought. This patrol is in addition to the annual patrols PG&E conducts along power lines to identify trees and vegetation in need of pruning and removal. Weakened trees and branches can fall into power lines, leading to outages and even wild land fires.

The drought has weakened and killed many trees and left others susceptible to disease or insects. After the flights, foresters will hike to the trees in question for a closer inspection to verify tree conditions. Once a forester confirms a tree needs to be removed, PG&E will work with the property owner to schedule a contractor to cut the tree.

Consecutive years of drought have taken a toll on trees and even some trees deemed healthy six months ago have since succumbed to the dry conditions.

The U.S. Forest Service recently identified an exponentially growing rate of tree mortality in California. In 2014, 11 million dead trees were identified throughout the state. That number grew to 40 million in 2015 and 102 million in 2016.

While tree mortality is more serious in 10 counties in the southern and central Sierra Nevada region, the Forest Service also identified increasing mortality in the northern part of the state.

Weather permitting, flights will occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

 

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Filed under Big Bend, Montgomery Creek, PG&E

PG&E to Increase Flows Below Lake Britton Dam along Pit River

PG&E press release Dec. 27, 2016

REDDING, Calif.—Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will increase water flows on the Pit River below the Lake Britton Dam from early January through mid-April of 2017.

Recreationalists in or near the river are encouraged to use extra caution during the higher flows.

The higher flows are necessary so PG&E can dewater the tunnel which delivers water from Lake Britton to the Pit 3 Powerhouse. PG&E will then inspect the tunnel and perform minor maintenance.

With no water being diverted through the tunnel starting January 2, Lake Britton Dam will spill. Flows in the Pit 3 Reach will increase from about 300 cubic feet per second (cfs) to about 2,900 cfs.

Flows should return to normal seasonal flows on or before April 16 when water flows resume through the tunnel.

The Pit 3 Reach is the 4.5-mile portion of the Pit River in the Lassen National Forest between PG&E’s Lake Britton Dam and the Pit 3 Powerhouse.

PG&E is posting signage about the higher flows along the Pit River Road.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and pge.com/news.

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Filed under Burney, PG&E, Pit River

PG&E Urges Caution as North State Reservoirs Spill and Rivers Run High

Press release from PG&E dated December 16, 2016

Several dams full in Shasta, Plumas, Butte, Lassen Counties

CHICO, Calif.— Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is cautioning recreationalists near rivers and streams to be aware of higher flows brought on by recent rains and spilling reservoirs.

Most PG&E’s reservoirs haven’t spilled this early in the wet season in years because of ongoing drought conditions, so recreationalists may be caught off guard by the higher water flows downstream.

Four of PG&E’s six reservoirs along the Pit River are overflowing or expected to be soon, as are four of the six reservoirs along the North Fork Feather River.

Reservoirs spilling or about to spill include the Pit 4, Pit 5, Pit 6 and Pit 7 along the Pit River in Shasta County, and Belden, Rock Creek, Cresta and Poe reservoirs on the North Fork Feather River in Plumas and Butte counties. Mountain Meadows Reservoir in Lassen County and the Grizzly Forebay in Plumas County are also spilling.

It’s not unusual for PG&E ‘s reservoirs to spill during the wettest parts of normal winters, because they tend to have less storage and are located at much higher elevations than state and federal multi-year water storage reservoirs like Shasta Lake and Lake Oroville. PG&E’s reservoirs are designed to capture rain and snowmelt runoff in winter, spring and early summer to generate clean, renewable hydroelectric power.

Below are some water safety tips:

Water Safety Tips

  • Sudden immersion in cold water can stimulate the “gasp reflex,” causing an involuntary inhalation of air or water. It can even trigger cardiac arrest, temporary paralysis, hypothermia and drowning. When faced with swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed.
  • Cold water entering the ear canal can cause vertigo and disorientation. This may confuse swimmers, causing them to venture deeper into the water.
  • Recreating in PG&E canals and flumes is strictly prohibited. Stay out of canals and flumes, which are very dangerous due to slippery sides and fast moving water.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and pge.com/news.

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Filed under PG&E, Pit River