Sunday, Portland General Electric finalized restoration to customers impacted by the company’s proactive public safety power shut-off (PSPS) and preventive power shutoffs implemented on Sept. 9 and 10. These safety measures affecting 17 areas and approximately 37,000 customers were taken in response to extreme fire conditions and hot, strong wind gusts.
“PGE appreciates our customers’ patience as we prioritized the safety of people and communities where we work, live and serve,” said Larry Bekkedahl, senior vice president of Advanced Energy Delivery, PGE. “This critical work was completed through close collaboration with community leaders and emergency responders.”
Nearly 500 operational personnel including 112 PGE, contractor and mutual assistance crews worked around-the-clock shifts patrolling, inspecting and making necessary repairs to safely restore power from PSPS and preventive outages.
PGE’s Community Resource Centers served approximately 2475 people during the course of the event, providing access to charging for personal electronics, Wi-Fi and distributing ice and water.
Decreased wildfire weather conditions early Saturday allowed personnel to begin patrolling lines to perform safety checks. Vegetation debris was cleared in some spots and minor wind damage repair was required in other areas. Step restorations (turning on power section by section) then took place with customers re-energized by Saturday afternoon.
The Pacific Power meteorology team, using advanced forecast modeling, helped identify high risk areas ahead of the easterly wind conditions. The sophisticated data modeling was used to determine the timing to turn off power to help minimize the impact to the 12,000 affected customers. Pacific Power then positioned additional personnel and resources ahead of the wind event. This allowed for a quick and safe restoration process. Through real-time coordination with public safety partners, three community resource centers were established to help support impacted communities through the event.
“Community safety and reducing wildfire risk are top priorities for us,” said Allen Berreth, vice president of operations. “We thank our customers for their patience and understanding through this event. I also acknowledge the all-hands-on-deck approach from Pacific Power personnel. Our team emphasized safety for our customers, communities and co-workers. We thank the crews patrolling and repairing lines, the staff monitoring conditions and volunteers at the community resource centers.”