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Wed Jul 21, 2021, 05:26 PM

PG&E announces plan to bury thousands of miles of lines

Source: Associated Press

CHICO, Calif. (KTXL) Pacific Gas and Electric announced on Wednesday that it plans to bury 10,000 miles of lines in parts of the state with a higher fire danger.

The utility made the announcement in Butte County, where it says its equipment could be to blame for igniting the 85,000-acre Dixie Fire.

We want what all of our customers want: a safe and resilient energy system. We have taken a stand that catastrophic wildfires shall stop. We will partner with the best and the brightest to bring that stand to life, PG&E CEO Patti Poppe said in a news release. We will demand excellence of ourselves. We will gladly partner with policymakers and state and local leaders to map a path we can all believe in.

After the 2017 wine country fires and 2018s Camp Fire, which killed dozens of people and largely destroyed the Butte County town of Paradise, PG&E says it began looking into putting overhead power lines underground.



Read more: https://fox40.com/news/wildfire-watch/pge-announces-plan-to-bury-thousands-of-miles-of-lines/



PG&E supplies gas and electricity to most of Northern California.

From the link: Already a twice-convicted felon, PG&E has been charged with another round of fire-related crimes that it denies committing. Its been a year since the utility emerged from one of the most complex bankruptcy cases in U.S. history, an act driven by a succession of harrowing wildfires ignited by its long-neglected electrical grid.

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 05:51 PM

1. About fucking time

I guess billions paid in settlements for fires they've caused eventually forced them to do something they should have done long ago.

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Response to eissa (Reply #1)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 06:03 PM

2. I was just about to post that! About fucking time!

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 06:18 PM

3. It's not that easy to bury 765,000V lines.

Its a logistical nightmare.

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Response to truthisfreedom (Reply #3)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 08:50 PM

10. Throw earthquakes into the mix. I appeciate the hesitation on one hand...

They've probably done the studies... I hope...

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Response to mpcamb (Reply #10)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 11:10 PM

14. omg, I didn't consider that.

I don't know how it's possible to do at all.

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Response to truthisfreedom (Reply #14)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 11:13 PM

15. We have rapid transport trains running in tubes below the

San Francisco Bay that survived a 7.0 earthquake in '89. It can be done. I'm sure it's not cheap, though.

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 06:35 PM

4. Something about a horse

and a barn door comes to mind.....

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Response to SoCalNative (Reply #4)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 08:46 PM

8. sce should have too. but a little late as u put it.

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 06:43 PM

5. should have been done decades ago!!

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Response to monkeyman1 (Reply #5)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 08:45 PM

6. beat me to it. love your screen nick btw.


if tesla had his way . we wouldnt have had all those power lines but instead , domes everey half mile .

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 08:46 PM

7. it's coming from Fox news though... Is it trustworthy?

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Response to Flash953 (Reply #7)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 08:48 PM

9. They got it from Associated Press

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Response to Auggie (Reply #9)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 09:00 PM

11. OK

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 10:48 PM

12. Technical challenges of undergrounding high voltage transmission lines (PDF)

I support this, but in case anyone is interested, here's a somewhat interesting document from National Grid outlining some of the technical challenges of undergrounding high voltage transmission lines.

https://www.nationalgrid.com/sites/default/files/documents/39111-Undergrounding_high_voltage_electricity_transmission_lines_The_technical_issues_INT.pdf

Peace...

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Response to brachism (Reply #12)

Thu Jul 22, 2021, 07:29 AM

20. This is awesome -- a must-read! Thanks for posting!

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Response to brachism (Reply #12)

Thu Jul 22, 2021, 09:00 AM

21. I'll add to this

with this quote

The estimated cost for constructing underground transmission lines ranges from 4 to 14 times more expensive than overhead lines of the same voltage and same distance. A typical new 69 kV overhead single-circuit transmission line costs approximately $285,000 per mile as opposed to $1.5 million per mile for a new 69 kV underground line (without the terminals). A new 138 kV overhead line costs approximately $390,000 per mile as opposed to $2 million per mile for underground (without the terminals).


Source

Bear in mind that these numbers are more than a decade old so the costs (in materials if nothing else) are going to be a significant percentage higher than in this study.


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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 11:05 PM

13. I'll let you know how I feel about it

when they announce whether the ratepayers or the stockholders will be paying for it.

We are paying some of the highest rates in the country for our electricity here while their employees (I have known many of them over the years and even have some in my family) are paid obscenely high wages with fantastic benefits and pensions. Yearly bonuses for even non management workers can be in the mid five figures.

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 11:31 PM

16. A challenge - especially in the Sierras

and other mountainous areas. For places in the Central Valley and other accessible places - it should have been done years ago.

PG&E is very good at inspecting their equipment - AFTER a major failure. They had boots on the ground all over the Bay Area after they blew up half of Burlingame and killed 6 people.

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Wed Jul 21, 2021, 11:48 PM

17. PG&E caused 1,500 fires by 2019

It's about time they spend some money on infrastructure instead of investor returns.

https://www.businessinsider.com/pge-caused-california-wildfires-safety-measures-2019-10

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Thu Jul 22, 2021, 12:56 AM

18. Finally! The cost of burying the lines ($20B) is about the cost of 1 major fire.

That includes fire suppression costs, property damage, ecological damage, and lives lost...and ensuing litigation.

Under California and federal law, anyone who causes a wildfire must pay for the fire suppression costs incurred by federal, state and local fire agencies.

PG&E only only agreed to do this because they were being repeatedly tagged in court for the costs of fires started by their downed lines. It became cheaper to bury the lines than keep fighting the lawsuits.

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Thu Jul 22, 2021, 01:05 AM

19. In NYC at the turn of the century 1900

the electric and phone wires would break from the weight of snow on the lines and they would freeze and snap so they were all put underground. Then 100 years later and Hurricane Sandy came and everything underground got damaged by water. There is no good place to put lines sometimes. In the Western states the freezing won't be a major problem or the flooding...for now anyway.

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