The Cambrian

Thousands of North Coast customers will lose power during brief PG&E shutdown

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PG&E is about to go bankrupt. Will the troubled utility keep the lights on as it finds a resolution of the billions of dollars it faces in potential liabilities from the Camp Fire and the wine country wildfires.
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PG&E is about to go bankrupt. Will the troubled utility keep the lights on as it finds a resolution of the billions of dollars it faces in potential liabilities from the Camp Fire and the wine country wildfires.

About 2,500 PG&E customers in the North Coast area could be affected by a brief power shutdown between 10 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, according to utility spokesman Mark Mesesan.

The planned outage is part of a large, scheduled repair job on a 70,000-volt transmission line that feeds the distribution system for Cambria and Cayucos. Power could be out briefly during that half-hour window, he said.

The work is not part of PG&E’s official Public Safety Power Shutoff program, but is part of the utility’s safety strategy, he said.

“We will need to shift load in our system, which will create a short, planned outage of between five and 15 minutes, impacting a little more than 2,500 customers in the Cambria area,” Mesesan said.

The outage could affect some downtown shops and restaurants, including those that would be serving dinner at that time. PG&E’s initial notifications about the planned outage caused some social-media consternation and concern earlier in the week. At that time, the anticipated, early evening outage window was about two hours long.

Mesesan said the repair project started Monday, and the repairs should be finished on Friday.

“We regret any inconvenience to our customers,” Mesesan added, “but we are working to take action right away to reduce wildfire risks from our equipment, and this work is part of that effort.”

He added: “Safety is our most important responsibility, and we’re ensuring our equipment is restored in order to prevent any potential wildfire ignition, and repairs could include replace of electrical components or other tower facilities.”

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