By Paul Moreno
PG&E is installing remote sensing devices on power poles to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages in Los Molinos.
The devices are called SCADA devices, or supervisory control and data acquisition devices. The pole-mounted devices continuously monitor voltage and power grid conditions and notify grid operators to pre-identify issues and pinpoint trouble spots.
More than 4,000 homes, farms and businesses in the Los Molinos area, about 25 miles northwest of Chico, will benefit from the improved electric reliability.
The devices also can be used remotely to operate switches and safely reroute power in the event of an outage.
Previously, the switches were operated manually, which often involved travel time for crews and longer restoration times for customers.
The four devices should be installed and operating by the end of January.
In 2015, PG&E delivered record electric reliability to its customers for the seventh straight year, with the average customer experiencing less than one outage in the year. Since 2009, the energy company has consistently reduced the average duration of power outages.
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.