By Teresa Young
STOCKTON — PG&E shared the story of its reliability progress at the Stockton Energy Training Center. And there was a lot of good news to share.
“In 2016, PG&E had the shortest average customer outage duration in company history and the second fewest annual outage minutes,” said Steve Calvert, senior manager of electric system reliability.
Calvert, one of four PG&E speakers at the event, shared details on PG&E’s electric transmission and distribution system, what causes outages and how the company measures reliability.
One key indicator is SAIDI, which measures the cumulative minutes of sustained outages for an average customer.
“Customers saw a 23 percent reduction in the annual duration of outages from 2011 to 2016,” Calvert said, explaining the number dropped from 142 minutes in 2011 to 109 minutes in 2016, the second fewest in company history.
The Monday (Nov. 6) event was to fulfill a California Public Utilities Commission requirement that all energy companies it regulates host a public meeting to discuss reliability. The meeting also was webcast so those who couldn’t attend could listen in.
Mydika Redding, a supervisor of electric distribution project management, and Brian To, a supervisor for electric distribution reliability planning, shared the local story. In the Stockton Division, which covers San Joaquin, Amador, Calaveras and a part of Alpine County, outage minutes have dropped from 161 in 2008 to just 84 in 2016.
As part of the annual reliability report, PG&E identifies poorly performing circuits – four of them are in the Stockton Division. The good news there is that each of the circuits has undergone significant upgrades recently. The Alpine 1102 circuit, which served 309 customers south of Bear Valley Mountain, underwent a $1.6 million project to improve reliability by moving primary conductor off of tree poles and onto wood poles. Both the Alpine 1102 and the Salt Springs 2101 and 2102 are in area with heavy snowfall, which impacts reliability. Eight Mile 2106 is the fourth.
Another recently completed project, To said, included more than a mile of new overhead wire on the East Stockton 402 circuit, benefiting 1,158 customers.
And, according to Redding, planned work for 2018 on the Tracy 1106 circuit should reduce the number of customer interruptions by 65 percent and the customer outage minutes by 71 percent.
David Meier, a PG&E senior manager and the DLT lead for the Stockton Division, hosted the meeting. He noted that the division serves more than 720,000 customers and that PG&E employs 1,170 area residents. The company pays more than $30 million in property taxes and franchise fees locally, and division employees gave thousands of hours to local non-profits.
“We know that safety and reliability are important to all of our customers, and those of us here in the Stockton Division not only work to keep the lights on but also support our local communities,” Meier said.
PG&E’s 2016 Electric Reliability Report as well as the Stockton presentation is available at this website.
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.