Monday , May 27 2019

California wildfires: PG&E reports second failure in power-line


PG&E Corp may be poised for further volatility on Monday after disclosing a second power-line failure on the morning that California’s deadliest fire began.
A circuit in Concow, Butte County, failed at about 6:45 am on November 8, the utility said in a filing to the state’s Public Utilities Commission. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire, collected equipment on that circuit and “has secured a location near PG&E facilities,” the company said.
“The information provided in the report is preliminary, and there has been no determination on the cause,” PG&E said in a statement. At least 76 people have died in the Camp Fire, which is 60 percent contained. More than 149,000 acres have been scorched and close to 10,000 homes were destroyed.
San Francisco-based PG&E has filed two incident reports since the fire began — and seen about half its market value, roughly $12 billion, vanish in little more than a week. It previously told state regulators that aerial inspection found damage to a transmission tower near Pulga, which is east of Concow.
“The more that investors hear about an incident report — some event that may be connected — the more concerned they might get,” Kit Konolige, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said in an interview.
The latest revelation came amid mounting scrutiny of PG&E, California’s biggest utility. The president of the California Public Utilities Commission singled out PG&E’s board as an impediment to reform — and said he isn’t ruling out carving up the company as officials launch a deep corporate review.

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