Tag Archives: 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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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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PG&E Checking in Shasta County for Drought-stricken Trees

The following is a press release from PG&E dated December 5. The initial import of the release is to notify and explain to residents of Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek, and Big Bend the reasons that helicopters would be flying low over their areas on Tuesday, December 7.

The release gives details about the growing number of trees that have died as a result of the drought or are threatened by insects and disease as a result of weakened resistance. After the aerial check, foresters will follow up on foot to inspect trees. Then private landowners will be contacted. Dead or infected trees will need to be trimmed or removed.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will be flying low by helicopter in Shasta County on Tuesday to check for drought-stricken trees near power lines. Flights will occur over Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek and Big Bend.

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 does 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 an up-close 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 Mountain region, the Forest Service also identified increasing mortality in the northern part of the state.

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

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Filed under Big Bend, Montgomery Creek, PG&E, Pit River, Round Mountain, Timber and Forestry

Whitewater Recreation on the Pit One Reach

About 60 whitewater adventurers came to Pit River Country the weekend of October 29-30 for whitewater recreation on the Pit One Reach. Kayakers and rafters came from as far away as Alaska and Wyoming. Ages of participants ranged from 14 years old to 68.

Headed down the Pit photo by Christine O'Conner

Headed down the Pit photo by Christine O’Connor

Every year, whitewater flows are required as part of PG&E’s license conditions for the Pit 1 Hydroelectric Project. The Pit 1 Reach is the 6.5-mile portion of the Pit River that extends from PG&E’s Pit 1 Forebay in Fall River Mills to the Pit 1 Powerhouse.

Group by the rock photo by Christine O'Conner

Group by the rock photo by Christine O’Connor

On October 24, PG&E increased flows from about 200 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 800 to 900 cfs creating Class IV and V rapids . This provides a particularly exciting opportunity for kayakers and rafters because the section of the river includes Pit River Falls.

Heading over the falls photo by Christine O'Conner

Heading over the falls photo by Christine O’Connor

Some kayakers go over the falls. Some choose to ride the chute parallel to the falls. In either case it is an exciting ride. The stretch ends at the Bureau of Land Management Campground at Pit 1.

Over the falls photo by Christine O'Conner

Over the falls photo by Christine O’Connor

 

Where's the kayak photo by Christine O'Conner

Where’s the kayak photo by Christine O’Connor

This was the second whitewater recreation weekend of the year on Pit 1 reach. The first event had been October 8-9. The scheduling of the event is a cooperative effort of PG&E, BLM and American Whitewater.

Most of the participants come on Saturday and camp overnight at the BLM  campground to  continue their weekend of fun. On Saturday night many of the campers enjoyed a combination Halloween Octoberfest celebration.

Halloween October Fest celebration photo by Christine O'Conner

Halloween October Fest celebration photo by Christine O’Connor

I wasn’t able to make the first event. Nor was I able to get there on Saturday the 29. Sunday was my last chance.

When my wife Linda and I got out of church it was pouring rain. We drove to the campground to interview some of the kayakers. The first group I met consisted of  Karen Guibault from Chico, Jami Rains from Sacramento, Sara Strader and Mary Elliot from Verdi, Nevada, Bruce Taylor from Reno, and Stephanie Viselli from Carson City and Christine O’Connor who had taken many wonderful pictures of the group’s escapades.

Kayakers from Nevada and Northern California

Kayakers from Nevada and Northern California

Undaunted by the rain, they had finished their ride for the day and were enjoying a feast of leftovers from the celebration that they had had the night before. They kindly gave me a bag full of sauerkraut.

When I asked them all if they had a quote, they said, “Thanks to PG&E, BLM, and AW!”

After a joyful chat, I headed down to the swimming hole where I met another group: Patrick Baird and Bird Sewett from White Salmon Washington, Brad Gossett from Alaska, and Riley Gardner from Jackson Hole Wyoming.

Kayakers from Alaska, Wyoming, Oregon, and Washington

Kayakers from Alaska, Wyoming, Oregon, and Washington

Then I saw two more trudging up from the river carrying their kayaks.

Joyful rafters after a great ride

Joyful rafters after a great ride

And last but not least 14 year old Nathan with his kayak on his back.

14 year-old Nathan carrying his kayak back from the Pit

14 year-old Nathan carrying his kayak back from the Pit

They were done for the day. I was getting soaked and Linda was waiting in the car. There were a few rafters still on the river but they weren’t expected to arrive soon. Linda and I headed home grateful that we had been able to meet these wonderful whitewater enthusiasts  of all ages and share just a taste of their excitement.

Many thanks to Christine O’Connor for the wonderful action photos.

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Filed under Kayaking, PG&E, Pit River