California PG&E's 100 Year Old Transmission Grid

    A million or more Californians have their electricity cut due to wind and the chance a transmission tower, line or cable might fail and start a fire.  A large part of the reason is the advanced age of the high voltage electrical grid that carries power long distances from hydroelectric and other sources in the state to cities where it is used. If a 100K volt line breaks off and grounds out on the pylon structure, or hits the ground, sparks will shower the area, and a fire will result.The Camp Fire which killed 85 people, and devastated Paradise, California, started in the Caribou-Palermo transmission line which was among PG&E's oldest, having gone into service in 1921. That transmission line had over 100 pylon structures that were deemed in need of replacement or repair before the Camp Fire, and it has, since the fire, been permanently shut down.

    There was electricity, and a "high voltage grid", even before 1910, and some pre-1910 equipment is still being used by PG&E. The metals and materials used in the pylon structure and the wires themselves have, of course, suffered wear and tear from decades of wind, sun and weather of all types. They break. It is inexcusable to be still using such old equipment, and California is paying the price for neglect of PG&E to update it's aged system. The company is now in bankruptcy.


    A WSJ investigation based in part on PG&E documents obtained under the federal Freedom of Information Act found that the utility told the U.S. Forest Service in 2017 and 2018 that 49 towers on the nearly century-old Caribou-Palermo line needed to be replaced "due to age." Another 57 towers needed extensive upgrades.

    A presentation prepared by PG&E in 2017 estimated that the average age of its 50,000 transmission towers was 68 years old. The oldest towers in the network were 108 years old at the time, meaning they were built before 1910. The age estimate excluded 7,000 towers for which no date of construction could be determined.


    40 million Californians today are using a grid built in 1950 (avg age grid infrastructure 68 years) funded by the just 10 million who lived there in 1950..?

    What's going on? 

    What's going on is that PG&E seems incapable just basics of addressing current emergencies. Witness current NYTimes headline story

    ‘This Did Not Go Well’: Inside PG&E’s Blackout Control Room

    2h ago

    so why would you give them money to rebuild the grid. That much I know, from family there. Admit I don't know a lot about the politics. But I see this problem: who else would want to do it?In a state where rebellion against taxation for the common good is infamous? It would be nothing but grief? Innovators want the prospect of profit. And Californians don't want to pay for a non-profit way like TVA.

    I for one buy his argument:

    Not looking good, methinks if they want electricity in California, taxpayers gonna have to do it:

    PG&E stock plunges toward record low after Citi warns it could be worthless

    California utility’s broken jumper cable may have been involved in starting the Kincade wildfire

    @ Marketwatch Oct 25, 2019 3:39 p.m. ET

    I think PG&E is in a secret agreement to help Elon Musk sell power banks and solar panels. Who do we call to look for a quid pro quo?

    You bad.

    p.s. He just tweeted!

    LATimes' national correspondent says its uncharted territory time:

    The Hopelessness of Wildfire SeasonNo one knows what to do about PG&E’s role in the fires—and California’s governor isn’t helping.

    By APRIL GLASER @, OCT 29, 20196:03 PM​

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