Tag Archives: PG&E

BWD approves Solar Electric Installation Contract

On June 28, the Burney Water District approved a contract with Top Hat Energy, Inc. for the installation of a solar system at the Raymond H. Berry Pool to generate electricity. The Board also authorized BWD District Manager Willie Rodriguez to accept a 50,000 grant from the McConnell Foundation to help pay for the project.

Board President Fred Ryness, and Board Members Jim Hamlin and Britta Rogers were present at the meeting and voted unanimously to approve both agenda items.

The system will be installed by the pool where the horseshoe pits presently are. To install the system will cost $87,450. The grant from McConnell Foundation will cover $50,000. The remaining $37,450 will be paid from reserve funds. Reserve funds will be paid back as savings accrue.

The annual PG&E bill for pool operation, including both gas and electric, is currently about $10,000. Most of that cost is for electricity to run the pool pumps.  To insure that the water is clean and safe, the pumps at the pool run 24 hours a day 7 days a week from pool opening in May until closing ins September.

Electricity generated by the solar panels is returned to the grid and will be credited to BWD’s account. It is expected that the electricity generated will offset most of the electric cost resulting in thousands of dollars of savings per year. Thus, funds from the reserve should be reimbursed within four years.

The McConnell grant came with several conditions. One of the conditions is that the savings provide benefit to the community. One of the benefits is that the pool will be able to maintain and increase activities without increasing rates.

Labor costs are expected to rise in 2020 when the minimum wage is raised to $15 per hour. Increased labor costs could result in cutting hours of employees or limiting hours of operation of the pool. Savings on electricity will help to offset these rising labor expenses.

Pool manager Stephanie McQuade said that she hopes that rather than decreasing activities, the pool will now be able to add new programs.

The grant also stipulated that the project include some volunteerism. Before installation can occur, the horseshoe pits need to be removed and several trees need to be cleared. Several people have expressed interest in the pits. McQuade is looking for a tree faller who will volunteer services to take down the trees.

In addition, she is planning to have volunteers split, chop, and sell the wood as a fundraiser for the Swim Club.

Now, that the contract is approved, installation of the grid will begin as soon as the area is cleared. Top Hat Energy will be responsible for obtaining permits, installation, and providing interface with the PG&E grid.

Rodriguez said the new system could be operational as soon as August this summer. The life of the panels are 20 to 25 years and will be under warranty. Cameras will be installed to deter vandalism to the solar panels.

 

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Filed under Burney, Burney Water Board

Kid Fit Inaugural at Washburn-Bue Park

It was a beautiful day at Washburn Bue Park as scores of children, parents, and volunteers turned out for the inaugural event of KID FIT Summer 2018 on Tuesday evening June 12.

Kid Fit is a program that began in 2006 to address the obesity epidemic that was threatening the health of children in our country. The purpose of the program is to promote healthy lifestyle choices for children and families in the Intermountain area.

Kid Fit is organized locally by Shaylene Herndon from Bright Futures, Dana Haugue from Full Fitness Spectrum, and Tri Counties Community Network. Burney High School Senior Hailey Shaver is assisting Shaylene Herndon in the program for her Senior Project.

Organizers prep the kids

Pit River Casino donated $5000 to fund this years Kid Fit events. Additional funds were also provided by Mountain Cruisers and PG&E Employees Funds.

Tough Competition

Activities for the kids included Hula Hoop, tug-a-war, soccer, whiffle ball, jump rope, and lacrosse. Children from toddlers to teens participated.

Having a ball

This little tiger is running a race all his own

Tuesday evening’s kick-off festival at the park was the first of a series of\ events that will take place each week until July 12.

Upcoming events will be:

Tuesday June 19: Burney Falls night hike with free admission to the park.

Tuesday June 26: Family sports night at Bailey Park

Thursday July 5: Family track and field night at Burney High School Football field as one of the opening events for Burney Basin Days

Thursday July 12: Mud race and obstacle source on Bailey Avenue and family swim night at the Raymond Berry Community Pool.

All events begin at 6 p.m. For more information call Shaylene Herndon at 530-335-4600.

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Filed under Burney, Burney Basin Days, Burney Falls, Pit River Casino, Tri-Counties Community Center, youth

PG&E Flying Low in Shasta, Tehama, Lassen, Trinity to Inspect for Dead Trees

REDDING, Calif.—As part of its ongoing response to California’s tree mortality crisis, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will conduct aerial patrols in Shasta, Tehama, Lassen and Trinity counties on June 12 and 13 to identify dead trees that could pose a wildfire or other public safety risk.

Five years of drought and bark beetle infestation in California have caused millions of trees to die or become structurally compromised. We’ve made significant progress to help reduce wildfire risk by removing dead and dying trees and we’re not slowing down. We will continue this critical safety work in 2018, Carl Schoenhofer, PG&E’s senior manager of PG&E’s North Valley Division.

Every year, PG&E inspects and monitors every overhead electric transmission and distribution line, either on foot or by air, with some locations patrolled multiple times. Since the tree mortality crisis began, the energy company has increased foot and aerial patrols in high fire-risk areas to twice a year and up to four times a year in some locations. In 2018, PG&E expects to patrol over half of its overhead distribution lines at least two times.

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

On June 12, flights will occur over the Shasta County communities of Fall River Mills, McArthur, Cassel, Hat Creek and Old Station. Flights will also occur over the Lassen County communities of Nubieber and Bieber.

On June 13, flights will occur over the Tehama County communities of Manton, Paynes Creek, Dales, Mineral, Mill Creek, Lyonsville and Platina, as well as Shingletown in Shasta County and Wildwood in Trinity County.

Depending on clear weather conditions, flights will occur between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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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Higher Flows Below Pit 5 Dam Through June 6

Water flows are higher than seasonally normal along the Pit River below the Pit 5 Dam, and are expected to remain that way through about June 6, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced today.

Nothing is more important to PG&E than the safety of the public and its employees. That’s why PG&E is urging those recreating in or near the river are encouraged to use extra caution during the increased flows. Water flows are ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) along the Pit 5 Reach, which is the 9.3-mile stretch of the Pit River between the Pit 5 Dam and the Pit 5 powerhouse near Big Bend. These flows are like those found during whitewater recreational flows in August.

With two of four generators at the powerhouse currently not producing power, less water is being diverted by tunnel from the Pit 5 Reservoir to the powerhouse, so more water is flowing past the dam. Recent high-country rains have also increased flows.

Normal flows for June range from 350 to 550 cfs.      

PG&E expects to have all four generators operating in early June, at which point flows on the Pit 5 Reach should return to normal seasonal flows.  

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PG&E Funds Two Lassen County Fire Safe Council Fuel Reduction Projects

Press Release from Lassen County Fire Safe Council, Inc.:

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has awarded Lassen County Fire Safe Council, Inc. (LCFSC) $100,000 to fund fuel treatments to address extreme fire hazards in the Day Lassen Bench community in Lassen and Shasta Counties. The news comes as California recognizes Wild Fire Awareness Week in the second week of May.

Funds are being used to reduce hazardous fuel loads through mastication treatments along the Day Road corridor and for emergent brush treatments of last year’s PG&E funded mastication work.

The Day Lassen Bench Project is again focusing on three critical community needs that were identified after the 2014 Day Fire threatened the community: 1. Reducing hazardous fuel loads along the Day Road corridor, which will provide safer evacuation routes; 2. Reducing hazardous fuel loads in power line corridors, which protects critical community infrastructure, and; 3. Maintaining and expanding fuel breaks that protect the community where it bumps up against wildlands.

It is expected that over 200 acres will be treated within PG&E’s service in the Day Lassen Bench community in Lassen and Shasta counties. LCFSC is partnering with the Day Lassen Bench Fire Safe Council to implement this high priority project. It was tied for the #1 ranking in the 2018 Lassen County CWPP Work Plan.

In 2016 and 2017, PG&E provided LCFSC with a total of $262,388 for fund fire safe projects in both Day Lassen Bench and Little Valley.

“Once again we are grateful for the tremendous boost PG&E is providing to our efforts to reduce fire risk in local communities,” said Lloyd Keefer, LCFSC Chair. “We are putting these funds to work immediately and the PG&E funded treatments are planned to be completed by July 31, 2018, well in advance of the peak period of this year’s fire season.”

“The safety of the communities we serve is the top priority for PG&E and we are once again committed to support local wildfire prevention efforts in Lassen and Shasta counties. This collaboration among PG&E, and the Lassen County Fire Safe Council will help the communities we serve prevent and prepare for wildfires,” said Carl Schoenhofer, senior manager of PG&E’s North Valley division.

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PG&E Flying Low in Shasta County to Inspect for Dead Trees

REDDING, Calif.—As part of its response to California’s tree mortality crisis, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will conduct low-altitude aerial patrols in eastern Shasta County on Wednesday, December 6 to identify dead trees that could pose a wildfire or other public safety risk.

Flights will occur over and near the communities of Round Mountain and Montgomery Creek. Depending on weather conditions, flights will occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Even with the wet winter last year and recent storms, five years of drought in California have caused millions of trees to die or become structurally compromised. That’s why we’ve added enhanced measures to help keep the communities we serve safe,” said Carl Schoenhofer, senior manager of PG&E’s North Valley division.

Every year, PG&E inspects and monitors every overhead electric transmission and distribution line, with some locations patrolled multiple times. Since the tree mortality crisis began, the energy company has increased foot and aerial patrols in high fire-risk areas to twice a year and up to four times a year in some locations. Last year, PG&E conducted secondary patrols on 61 percent of power lines, and in 2017, expects to patrol 65 percent of lines a second time.

PG&E is using a local 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. 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.

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 tree work.

 

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PG&E Donates Swamp Parcel, Ensuring Permanent Conservation of Wetland Habitat

By Paul Moreno

PG&E has donated a large tract of land in the McArthur Swamp under an agreement with conservation groups designed to ensure the parcel will be preserved in perpetuity.

For decades, PG&E has maintained the land in eastern Shasta County to provide both a seasonal wetland habitat and land for cattle grazing in dry seasons.

The parcel of land PG&E donated also supports the local farming economy and provides for recreational uses.

Left largely in its natural state, the 4,491-acre parcel is part of an important feeding and resting spot for ducks and geese along the Pacific Flyway.  The land also supports the local farming economy and provides for waterfowl hunting and other recreational uses including boating in adjacent rivers.

On Oct.18, ownership of the land transferred from PG&E to the Fall River Resource Conservation District. The mission of the California special district is to support private and public landowners in the use and management of natural resources that will ensure the sustained highest economic, social, and environmental benefits of these resources. The transfer was immediately followed by conveyance of a conservation easement ensuring permanent protection of the land to Ducks Unlimited.

“We look forward to working with our partners and the community to continue the good stewardship of the McArthur Swamp exemplified by PG&E and the McArthur Resource Management Association,“ said Mike Millington, a board member of the conservation district.

The land, fed largely by alluvial springs to form the Tule River and Fall River, is located within the ancestral territory of the Ajumawi Band of the Pit River Tribe.

“We are pleased that the McArthur Swamp will be preserved in perpetuity while continuing to provide important environmental and local economic benefits. The cumulative work of the involved partners will ensure this land will be protected and enjoyed for generations to come,” said Mike Schonherr, a director at PG&E who oversees the company’s implementation of the land conservation commitment.

The 4,491-acre parcel is part of an important feeding and resting spot for ducks and geese along the Pacific Flyway.

The Fall River Valley region provides a major wetland linkage for migratory birds between the Klamath Basin and Oregon Closed Basin to the north and wintering grounds in the Central Valley to the south.

“We are very excited that this important habitat conservation project is finally coming to fruition,” said John Ranlett, Duck’s Unlimited’s regional biologist who has been involved in the project for over five years.

The donation is part of PG&E’s land conservation commitment, in fulfillment of an agreement in PG&E’s 2003 bankruptcy settlement that the company will permanently protect all 140,000 acres of its hydro watershed lands. These properties have been kept mostly in their natural state under PG&E’s ownership.

To complete the donation, PG&E worked with the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, the organization established in the settlement to oversee completion of the land conservation commitment.

“We are pleased to support the Fall River RCD and DU in the protection of the many beneficial public values of the McArthur Swamp property,” said Art Baggett, Stewardship Council board president.

PG&E will retain ownership of an additional 3,168 acres at McArthur Swamp for hydropower generation, which will also be protected through a conservation easement held by Ducks Unlimited.  This includes a nearly 500-acre parcel that PG&E restored to a seasonal wetland in 2012.

In fulfillment of the land conservation commitment, PG&E lands have been donated to entities including the U.S. Forest Service, local governments and the University of California, Berkeley. PG&E is retaining the watershed lands necessary for hydropower operations.

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Filed under Fall River, PG&E