COST-BENEFIT ASSESSMENT* OF PG&E’S EXPENDITURES FOR VEGETATION MANAGEMENT v. BENEFITS OF INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS
The massive system failures in Texas these last few days have awakened the nation to how our Utilities are vulnerable. From the Big Freeze, we heard words such as ”It is as bad as California.”
Texas also has a history of Utility failures. Out of cold, frozen nights, broken pipes, and rotating power outages comes the word that they didn’t perform:
And it applies to us. For over one hundred years, PG&E’s treatment of thousands after thousands of miles of their distribution system has opposed Modernization. Think about it: the greatest change of their primary solution to any Wildfire-Safety-Plan has been more Vegetation Management. And over those miles and years, their modernization solution to fire ignition has changed from a tree ax to a chainsaw.
Their bare lines exist as a testimony to their lack of foresight.
In the enclosed paper, we will show that working on vegetation is no excuse for ignoring the modernization of an antiquated system while achieving only a 5% reduction in the causation of wildfire, which is not economically justified and falls far short of making PG&E circuits safer than other operators.
Southern California Edison’s approach to a modern system is not only better and cheaper but also significantly safer, and PG&E should, without doubt, follow SCE’s lead and drop Enhanced Vegetation Management and install covered conductors, which address almost 90% of known initiators.
*Here is the pdf of the Cost Benefit Assessment.COST-BENEFIT-ASSESSMENT-March-30-FINAL