SAN RAMON, Calif. — Earlier today, operational and emergency response leaders from PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (together "PG&E") briefed representatives from the financial community on the company's progress on investing in electric and gas infrastructure that is safe, reliable and clean for customers in Northern and Central California. Approximately 150 members of the financial community received an in-depth briefing at PG&E's Wildfire Command Center in San Ramon, Calif., where company leaders track daily progress in key areas such as electric system hardening, miles of power lines cleared of vegetation and trees, equipment inspections, weather status, and future risk-reduction work plans. PG&E's Wildfire Safety Operations Center also recently relocated to San Ramon from the company's previous headquarters in San Francisco.
A link to the financial community briefing materials can be found here.
"We are encouraging investors from around the world to deploy their capital in California to reimagine and rebuild our energy system to make it safer and more reliable. As we are seeing with California's current drought-fueled wildfires, we are in a war on climate change, and investment capital is one of the necessary tools in our arsenal to deliver the energy system that our hometowns deserve," said Patti Poppe, CEO of PG&E Corporation.
Outside Capital Investments Required to Support Customers and Communities
Each year, PG&E invests approximately $7.5 billion in its electric, gas and generation infrastructure. About $5 billion of that figure comes from customer rates on a yearly basis. Therefore, the company must secure an additional $2.5 billion in funding from non-customer financial sources like investors to make up the difference. Those outside investments are needed to fund accelerated risk reduction and safety improvements, reliability upgrades, and clean energy assets that help California meet its climate goals.
Recently Announced Initiative to Underground 10,000 Miles of Power Lines
PG&E recently announced a major new initiative to expand the undergrounding of electric distribution power lines in High Fire Threat Districts (HFTDs) to further harden its system and help prevent wildfires.
The new infrastructure safety initiative is a multi-year effort to underground approximately 10,000 miles of power lines, or about half the distance around the globe. PG&E's commitment represents the largest effort in the U.S. to underground power lines as a wildfire risk reduction measure and will require significant additional investor funding to realize in the coming years.
The exact number of projects or miles undergrounded each year through PG&E's new expanded undergrounding program will evolve as PG&E performs further project scoping and inspections, estimating and engineering review.
PG&E's Commitment to Community Wildfire Safety
Investors also received an update on PG&E's multi-faceted Community Wildfire Safety Program, which includes both immediate and long-term action plans to further reduce wildfire risk and keep its customers and communities safe.
Since 2018, PG&E's wildfire safety work has resulted in:
- Multiple inspections of distribution, transmission and substation equipment in high fire-threat areas;
- Hardening more than 600 miles with stronger lines and poles to better withstand severe weather;
- Conducting enhanced vegetation safety work on nearly 5,000 line miles in high fire-threat areas (this is in addition to the more than 5 million trees that PG&E has trimmed or removed as part of its routine vegetation management and tree mortality efforts);
- Installing more than 1,000 sectionalizing devices and switches that limit the size of Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) that are necessary to mitigate the risk of wildfires;
- Installing more than 1,150 advanced weather stations to help PG&E gather more data and information to better predict and respond to extreme weather threats;
- Installing more than 400 high-definition cameras to monitor and respond to wildfires;
- Reserving more than 65 helicopters to quickly restore power after severe weather during PSPS events; and
- Monitoring wildfire threats in real-time through a dedicated team at PG&E's Wildfire Safety Operations Center, which is staffed 24 hours a day during wildfire season.
Ongoing PG&E Wildfire Mitigation and Resiliency Efforts
PG&E's ongoing safety work to enhance grid resilience and address the growing threat of severe weather and wildfires continues on a risk-based and data-driven basis, as outlined in PG&E's 2021 Wildfire Mitigation Plan.
Learn more about PG&E's wildfire safety efforts by visiting pge.com/wildfiresafety.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that are not historical facts, including statements about the beliefs, expectations, estimates, future plans and strategies of PG&E Corporation and the Utility, including but not limited to earnings guidance for 2021. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions, which management believes are reasonable, and on information currently available to management, but are necessarily subject to various risks and uncertainties. In addition to the risk that these assumptions prove to be inaccurate, factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements include factors disclosed in PG&E Corporation and the Utility's joint annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, their most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2021, and other reports filed with the SEC, which are available on PG&E Corporation's website at www.pgecorp.com and on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. PG&E Corporation and PG&E undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether due to new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by law.