Customer Service, Distribution Automation / Substation Automation, Outage Management, Smart Grid, T&D, Transmission

PG&E cleared to work to restore power in California burn zones

California‘s Napa and Sonoma counties are fighting through interruptions of services, including power grid disruptions, as deadly wildfires continue to burn.

Emergency responders reported multiple fallen power lines and transformer explosions over the weekend.

The deadly wildfires sweeping across California’s wine country have killed at least 17 people, injured about 185 people, destroyed more than 2,000 homes and businesses, and choked West Coast cities with smoke.

About 75,000 Pacific Gas & Electric customers were still without power in the North Bay area, down from 114,000 at peak, with the Santa Rosa area among the hardest hit.

Aside from the power outages, scores of cellular towers were destroyed, cutting communications between Northern California communities and the rest of the world.

Wednesday, PG&E got clearance from authorities to move into fire-ravaged areas to begin working on downed transmission and distribution equipment.

Several PG&E substations are in or near burned areas, according to reports. The utility said restoration times will depend on the extent of the damage.