System hardening initiatives strengthen assets like power poles and other infrastructure to reduce the chance of incidents and protect against extreme weather conditions. Risk modeling evaluates the consequences of potential issues with the system; then we undertake repair-and-replace programs to prevent and fix potential issues. We’re also implementing new technologies to help mitigate risks. While it’s impossible to eliminate every risk, we continue to maintain and upgrade our system and collaborate with other utilities to protect people and property.

Our work in this area includes:

  • Focused inspections of assets like poles and wires in Wildfire Risk Zones to determine potential areas of concern.
  • Replacing equipment and poles with new, safer technology and removing equipment that may create the potential for incidents that could lead to a wildfire.
  • Analyzing the strength of transmission and distribution structures to withstand potential wind speeds and maintain adequate clearances.
  • Conducting enhanced trimming of trees and other vegetation around our infrastructure.

Work Completed and Planned

Visually inspected 100% (2,900 miles) of transmission line in Wildfire Risk Zone by ground and aerial patrol for higher-voltage lines (over 200 kilovolt)

Inspected 125,000 distribution wood poles

Inspected high-risk distribution feeders
Inspect 100% (2,900 miles) of transmission line in Wildfire Risk Zone annually

Continue pole inspections and assessments of transmission lines through a variety of technologies, including drones

10,000+ distribution pole inspections using drones
Continue data collection to analyze pole integrity and necessary vegetation clearance
Replaced 2,300 distribution wood poles in 2019 and 3,700 poles in 2020

Repaired or replaced nearly 300 transmission assets with potential damage

Upgraded fuses and lightning arrestors
Replace 4,500 distribution poles in 2021 and nearly 15,500 distribution poles by 2025

Replace fuses with devices that improve safety

Continue to repair or replace damaged transmission assets as they are identified through the inspection process

Continue design work to support the planned rebuild of 195 miles of transmission line in the next 5 years

Replace the lines on 300 miles of distribution feeders in Wildfire Risk Zones
Initiated substation relay upgrades

Performed a wind strength analysis of transmission and distribution structures
Ongoing substation relay upgrades that will allow for earlier fault detection

Perform a wind strength analysis of distribution structures
Removed or mitigated hazard trees and vegetation from 20 circuits

Created defensible space around 1,500 distribution poles
Continue hazard tree removal and creation of defensible space around poles where needed

Convert right-of-way vegetation types near transmission lines

Read more in our Annual Report.