SAN FRANCISCO–The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), in its ongoing efforts to assist the state in mitigating catastrophic wildfires that have devastated California in recent years, Monday issued a series of Proposed Decisions on the 2019 Wildfire Mitigation Plans of three large California investor-owned electric utilities, three small and multijurisdictional utilities, and two independent transmission owners.
In the Proposed Decisions issued today, the CPUC determined that the 2019 Wildfire Mitigation Plans filed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric, Liberty Utilities/CalPeco Electric, Bear Valley Electric Service, Pacific Power, Trans Bay Cable LLC, and NextEra Energy Transmission West, LLC, contain the elements required under Senate Bill 901.
To ensure that the Wildfire Mitigation Plans actually reduce the risk and occurrence of catastrophic wildfires, the Proposed Decisions direct electrical corporations to track data and assess outcomes so that future plans reflect this year’s lessons. The Proposed Decisions also require reporting this year on 2019 Wildfire Mitigation Plan achievements. Further the Proposed Decisions require electric companies to take formal actions and file reports to the CPUC if the companies have concerns about the effectiveness of any program in their individual Wildfire Mitigation Plans. The reports must clearly describe the concern and contain a specific proposal for action, including, if applicable, a recommendation to reduce or end the specific mitigation identified.
Senate Bill 901 required electric utilities to prepare and submit Wildfire Mitigation Plans that describe the companies’ plans to prevent, combat, and respond to catastrophic wildfires affecting their service territories. Electrical corporations are but a piece of the puzzle to mitigating catastrophic wildfires, and the problem of wildfires will not be solved in one year. But the CPUC is diligently focused on ensuring improvements in the utility Wildfire Mitigation Plans each year through engineering, technological advances, and lessons learned from previous years.
The Proposed Decisions are set for CPUC Commissioner consideration on May 30.