Update highlights fire preparedness progress and outlines path for additional reductions in wildfire risk and customer impacts
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has completed and filed its annual update (the Update) to the 2020-2022 Wildfire Mitigation Plan, a strategic guide that describes SDG&E’s efforts to help reduce the potential for utility infrastructure-related fires and help protect the safety of SDG&E’s customers, employees and the communities it serves.
Submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission on Feb. 5, the Update builds upon SDG&E’s decades-long commitment to wildfire safety, addressing plan progress, regulatory and stakeholder feedback, and advancements in infrastructure-related wildfire mitigation and resiliency programs planned for the coming year.
Last year, SDG&E was able to further its 2020 wildfire mitigation initiatives and achieve a roughly 30% reduction in number of customers impacted by Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS), when compared to similar 2019 events. Initiatives completed last year included the development of a new circuit segment risk assessment model; strategic undergrounding of critical facilities in the backcountry; construction of multiple microgrids; a variety of customer generator programs; and the inclusion of covered conductor.
“We recognize that our wildfire preparedness efforts are not without significant impacts to our customers, who have shown incredible patience and understanding as we advance our collective goal to protect public safety,” said Caroline Winn, chief executive officer of SDG&E. “The pandemic and last year’s extreme weather events not only magnified our responsibility to bring forth solutions that help reduce those impacts, which we will work every day to do, but they also reinforced our commitment to build a more resilient electric system to safeguard our region.”
In 2021, SDG&E will continue to advance many of the initiatives that began in 2020 such as PSPS mitigation efforts and expanded outreach to vulnerable communities, and make additional enhancements to data collection and analysis. These enhancements will allow for more granular risk assessments and help prioritize infrastructure hardening projects and resource allocation in the future.
Since 2007, SDG&E has invested more than $2 billion in a variety of safety measures to prevent catastrophic wildfires. The company’s commitment to community safety and resiliency has made it a recognized leader in utility wildfire mitigation. To learn more about SDG&E’s commitment to wildfire preparedness and safety, please click here.