PCG - PG&E Corporation

NYSE - NYSE Delayed price. Currency in USD
9.45
+0.42 (+4.65%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close9.03
Open9.21
Bid0.00 x 1200
Ask0.00 x 1100
Day's range9.05 - 9.65
52-week range3.55 - 23.09
Volume67,873,531
Avg. volume16,764,962
Market cap5.006B
Beta (5Y monthly)1.13
PE ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-14.03
Earnings date22 Jul 2020 - 27 Jul 2020
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend date28 Sep 2017
1y target est13.55
  • Business Wire

    Series of PG&E Webinars Keeps Customers and Communities Informed About Ongoing Safety Work to Prevent and Mitigate the Risk of Catastrophic Wildfires

    As Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) crews and contractors perform essential work to maintain gas and electric service, improve the safety of the system, further mitigate wildfire risks, and reduce Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) impacts, the company also is taking steps to keep communities informed about this vital work.

  • PG&E Shares Jump After Emerging From Bankruptcy
    FX Empire

    PG&E Shares Jump After Emerging From Bankruptcy

    PG&E; shares rallied on their first day of trading after emerging from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

  • Business Wire

    PG&E Reminds Our Customers to Have a Safe Fourth of July Holiday

    America celebrates its birthday on Saturday, July 4th. This Independence Day will be unlike any in the previous 244 years with the COVID-19 pandemic changing how we live, what we do, where we go and how we celebrate in the United States.

  • Business Wire

    PG&E and California Fire Foundation Renew Partnership to Tackle Wildfire Risk

    Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has renewed its partnership with the California Fire Foundation (CFF) by providing $1.2 million for a Wildfire Safety and Preparedness grant.

  • Business Wire

    PG&E Emerges from Chapter 11

    PG&E Corporation (the "Corporation") and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (the "Utility," together "PG&E") announced today that PG&E has emerged from Chapter 11, successfully completing its restructuring process and implementing PG&E’s Plan of Reorganization ("Plan") that was confirmed by the United States Bankruptcy Court on June 20, 2020.

  • Financial Times

    Fire victims compensation falls below hopes on PG&E refinancing

    A compensation fund for California wildfire victims will be worth much less than the $13.5bn originally agreed after modest demand for new shares pushed down the equity value of PG&E, the bankrupt utility whose equipment was deemed responsible for the fires. The San Francisco company is expected to emerge from bankruptcy in the coming week, after completing an $8bn dollar equity fundraising backed by hedge fund managers David Tepper and Daniel Loeb and other investors. PG&E’s heavy debt burden has left investors debating whether its new financial structure will prove robust in the face of future wildfire costs.

  • PG&E Shares Tumble in Wake of Its $5 Billion Equity Offering
    Bloomberg

    PG&E Shares Tumble in Wake of Its $5 Billion Equity Offering

    (Bloomberg) -- PG&E Corp. shares tumbled after the company raised more than $5 billion in a common stock and equity unit offering to help finance its exit from the biggest utility bankruptcy in U.S. history.The California power giant’s shares fell as much as 5.8% Friday, to $9.17, following its sale of more than 420 million shares at $9.50 each. The shares were trading at $9.34 at 12:18 p.m. in New York.PG&E’s offering is one the year’s largest stock sales and part of the company’s plan to raise $9 billion in equity to help pay for claims from wildfires through its Chapter 11 case. The company has also raised more than $13 billion in the debt markets to finance its bankruptcy, which began after its equipment sparked deadly blazes in Northern California.The company said it expects to emerge from Chapter 11 on or about July 1.The broader market also fell Friday, with U.S. stocks dropping to a two-week low as a resurgence in new virus infections drag on the American economy. That creates a challenge for PG&E as it brings a large number of new shares onto the market.“Obviously, it’s a substantial amount of dilution,” said Kit Konolige, an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence. “Maybe people would have liked to have seen a higher price.”PG&E’s $9.50 per-share offer price represented a 2.4% discount to Thursday’s close of $9.73. The share sale, as well as separate offering of equity units, which have a coupon of 5.50%, netted the company about $5.15 billion, according to a statement early Friday.What Bloomberg Intelligence Says“With successful equity offerings of more than $9 billion opening the way to a bankruptcy exit by July 1, PG&E faces one key issue -- surviving the summer wildfire season.”\- Kit Konolige, senior utilities analystRead the full report here.Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are underwriting the offering. Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc. and BofA Securities Inc. are joint book-running managers.PG&E filed for Chapter 11 last year facing $30 billion in liabilities from the fires, some of the worst in California history. They included the Camp Fire, which destroyed the town of Paradise and killed more than 80 people. The company pleaded guilty last week to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter. State regulators fined PG&E $1.9 billion in connection with the blazes.PG&E is raising money to help cover $25.5 billion in damage claims it resolved in its bankruptcy through settlements with fire victims, insurers and local government agencies.(Adds analyst quote in sixth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • PG&E Raises Over $5 Billion in Shares, Equity Unit Offering to Avoid Bankruptcy
    FX Empire

    PG&E Raises Over $5 Billion in Shares, Equity Unit Offering to Avoid Bankruptcy

    PG&E; Corporation has announced that it has raised over $5 billion from shares and equity unit offering as the company prepares for life to avoid the largest utility bankruptcy in U.S. history in July.

  • Business Wire

    PG&E Corporation Prices Offerings of its Common Stock and Equity Units

    PG&E Corporation today announced that it has priced its previously announced underwritten public offering of 423,372,629 shares of its common stock at a price per share to the public of $9.50 and its previously announced concurrent underwritten public offering of 14,545,455 of its equity units at a price of $100 per unit, for total net proceeds to the Corporation, before estimated offering expenses, of approximately $3.968 billion and approximately $1.186 billion, respectively. The offerings are part of PG&E’s plan to fund its emergence from Chapter 11, subject to market conditions. PG&E has granted the underwriters in each offering, on the same terms as each offering, a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 42,337,263 shares of common stock and 1,454,545 prepaid stock contracts to create up to 1,454,545 equity units, respectively. The offerings are currently expected to close on July 1, 2020, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. The completion of each offering is conditioned upon emergence from the Chapter 11 Cases on the effective date of the Plan of Reorganization, which in turn is conditioned upon PG&E having obtained funding for the Plan of Reorganization. If the offerings are successfully consummated, following the application of proceeds thereof, PG&E Corporation currently anticipates emerging from Chapter 11 on July 1, 2020.

  • Business Wire

    As Summer Begins, PG&E Highlights Ways for Customers to Save Energy and Money

    Although it’s the first week of summer, hotter temperatures arrived in California weeks ago. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) encourages customers to follow simple steps and utilize free tools and programs to minimize the impact of summer heat on energy bills.

  • Business Wire

    PG&E Corporation Launches Offerings of its Common Stock and Equity Units

    PG&E Corporation today announced that it has launched concurrent underwritten public offerings of its common stock and its equity units, seeking $4 billion and approximately $1.23 billion of gross proceeds1, respectively, as part of its plan to fund its emergence from Chapter 11. PG&E intends to grant the underwriters in each offering a 30-day option to purchase additional shares of common stock and equity units representing up to $400 million and approximately $123 million of gross proceeds, respectively. The offerings are currently expected to price during the week commencing June 22, 2020 and are expected to close on or about July 1, 2020, subject to market conditions and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. If the offerings are successfully consummated, following the application of proceeds thereof, PG&E Corporation currently anticipates emerging from Chapter 11 on or about July 1, 2020.

  • PG&E Rescue Fund Bond Sale Delayed by Drop in Power Demand
    Bloomberg

    PG&E Rescue Fund Bond Sale Delayed by Drop in Power Demand

    (Bloomberg) -- The coronavirus-related economic shutdowns have led to one arcane consequence: delaying California’s sale of $10.5 billion in bonds to finance future wildfire costs.Power customers are using less electricity with shops and businesses closed, and that has slowed the efforts to pay down bonds sold in the last energy crisis that must be defeased before the new debt is offered.The delay means the state can’t take advantage of the current rally in the $3.9 trillion municipal market. While investors in need of tax-havens generally seek California bonds, the market now is seeing even greater demand for such securities. Bondholders are set to receive a wall of debt payments this summer that’s expected to exceed the amount of new securities on tap.“It’s hard to anticipate what the fall is going to look like,” said James Dearborn, director of municipal credit research at DWS. “If they were issuing bonds today, I think they would be well received.”Last year, California Governor Gavin Newsom and state legislators agreed to establish a $21 billion fund to help utility giants including PG&E Corp. and Edison International cover future liabilities when their equipment ignites catastrophic blazes. Such exposure led to PG&E Corp.’s bankruptcy last year, and its incipient exit will allow it to tap the fund.The fund was part of legislation needed to keep investor-owned power companies operating as wildfires increase in number and severity. An unusual California doctrine holds utilities liable for wildfires that their equipment sparks, even if they aren’t proven negligent, leaving officials worried about the reliability of power in the most-populous U.S. state.Helping finance the fund is $10.5 billion to be raised through the sale of municipal revenue bonds. The bonds will be backed by a charge customers are already seeing on their bills from the $11.2 billion in bonds the state sold starting in 2002. That issuance reimbursed California from buying electricity for insolvent utilities hobbled by rising prices and manipulation by Enron Corp. and other companies in the deregulated market.The catch: California officials have to wait until they can defease those bonds, of which $1.5 billion is outstanding. The amount collected by the $.005 per kilowatt hour charge depends on usage. With the state mandating residents to shelter in place at the end of March, electricity demand dropped. Since the first full week of the statewide stay-at-home order through June 7, homes, businesses and manufacturers used 3.7% less in electricity on an average weekday, according to California ISO, which manages the state’s power grid.Originally, the bonds were to be retired around the third week of August. Due to lower than projected revenue, the estimate is now mid- to late-September, with the new bonds potentially being sold in October, according to the state treasurer’s office. It’s likely the new bonds would pay back the $2 billion in loans to the fund from the state’s general fund, said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for Newsom’s finance department.Contributions from the utilities make up the rest of the fund. PG&E’s share is $4.8 billion. Southern California Edison made its initial contribution to the fund of $2.4 billion in September 2019 and made the first of its 10 annual payments of $95 million in December. SDG&E made its first initial contribution of $322.5 million and its first of its ten annual payments of $12.9 million.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • PG&E Wins Final Approval for Its Bankruptcy Reorganization
    Bloomberg

    PG&E Wins Final Approval for Its Bankruptcy Reorganization

    (Bloomberg) -- PG&E Corp. won final approval of its bankruptcy plan, clearing the way for the California utility giant to emerge from one of the darkest chapters of its history.U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali issued an order Saturday confirming PG&E’s Chapter 11 plan that will cover billions of dollars in damage claims stemming from catastrophic wildfires linked to the company’s equipment. The judge said in an earlier written decision that he planned to approve the turnaround proposal because the alternative would leave tens of thousands of fire survivors with “no other options on the horizon.”PG&E needed the judge to sign off on its plan before the end of this month to qualify for a state wildfire insurance fund. That will help it cover damage claims from any future blazes sparked by its power lines.Read More: PG&E Is Set to Exit Bankruptcy, Ending Saga Sparked by Fires“PG&E is committed to emerging from Chapter 11 as a fundamentally improved and transformed utility that meets the highest safety, governance, and operational standards,” Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson said Saturday in a statement.The company said it expects to emerge from bankruptcy in July.PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January 2019 after its equipment was implicated in wildfires that killed more than 100 people and burned tens of thousands of homes across Northern California. It was the largest utility reorganization in U.S. history. The company is emerging from Chapter 11 saddled with nearly $40 billion in debt after it agreed to settle claims from people, insurers and local government agencies for $25.5 billion.PG&E retired expensive high-coupon debt and replaced it with lower cost debt as a result of the Chapter 11 proceedings, yielding savings for customers, according to a statement.With the judge’s confirmation in hand, PG&E can begin marketing $5.25 billion in shares as part of a plan to raise $9 billion through new equity to help pay for the fire-related costs. It is also raising more than $13 billion in the debt markets.Some wildfire victims denounced PG&E’s turnaround proposal, saying hedge funds and other investors stood to make billions from bets on the distressed utility while individual victims will have to take half of their $13.5 billion settlement in shares in the reorganized company.PG&E said it will implement all wildfire settlements it reached during its bankruptcy after it emerges, including the immediate funding of the victim trust.(Updates with PG&E statement on debt replacement)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    PG&E Completes Initial Stage of Bankruptcy Exit Financing

    Following the formal confirmation of the company’s Plan of Reorganization ("Plan of Reorganization") by the United States Bankruptcy Court yesterday, PG&E Corporation (the "Corporation") and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (the "Utility," together "PG&E") announced today that PG&E has completed the initial stage of its bankruptcy exit financing contemplated in its Plan of Reorganization. As a result of its Chapter 11 proceedings, PG&E has been able to retire expensive high-coupon debt and replace it with lower cost debt, yielding significant annual savings for customers. These savings are estimated to be approximately $250 million annually. PG&E will reflect these savings in future customer bills later this year.

  • Business Wire

    PG&E Achieves Bankruptcy Court Confirmation of its Plan of Reorganization

    PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (together "PG&E") announced today that the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California has confirmed the company’s Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization (the Plan). This follows the California Public Utilities Commission’s approval of the Plan on May 28, 2020.

  • Business Wire

    PG&E Corporation Announces Procedures to Participate in Previously Announced Reserved Allocation for its Underwritten Public Offering of Common Stock

    As previously announced, PG&E Corporation currently expects to pursue underwritten public offerings of common stock and equity units as part of its plan to fund its emergence from Chapter 11, subject to market conditions. The expected $5.75 billion of gross proceeds1 of the offerings of common stock and equity units are expected to be used to partially fund distributions under the company’s plan of reorganization. Also as previously announced, pursuant to a reserved allocation program (the "Reserved Allocation"), $1.25 billion of the common stock offering will be reserved for investors who are beneficial owners of at least 1,000,000 shares of PG&E common stock as of 5:00 p.m. ET on June 19, 2020 (such date and time, the "Eligibility Date"). PG&E also currently expects that up to 25% of the common stock offering will be allocated to individual investors (also known as "retail" investors) through brokerage firms.

  • Business Wire

    PG&E Statement on Company’s Sentencing Related to 2018 Camp Fire

    PG&E today accepted its sentence in Butte County Superior Court related to the company’s role in the 2018 Camp Fire. In accordance with the plea agreement PG&E reached in March 2020 with the Butte County District Attorney, the company pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of unlawfully starting a fire.

  • Stock Market Today: The 1 Bankrupt Stock That Could Be Worth Something
    Motley Fool

    Stock Market Today: The 1 Bankrupt Stock That Could Be Worth Something

    The stock market didn't make much of a move on Wednesday morning, weighing several offsetting factors that raised both positive and negative prospects for investors. There's been a lot of activity in the shares of bankrupt companies like Hertz Global Holdings, J.C. Penney, and Whiting Petroleum, with many investors not realizing the potential to lose everything involved in buying that stock. Most of the time, shareholders end up with little or nothing when a company emerges from bankruptcy, as creditors end up dividing whatever assets are left.

  • PG&E Is Set to Exit Bankruptcy, Ending Saga Sparked by Fires
    Bloomberg

    PG&E Is Set to Exit Bankruptcy, Ending Saga Sparked by Fires

    (Bloomberg) -- Only 19 months after the Camp Fire erupted in the tinderbox mountains of Northern California, PG&E Corp., the power utility behind the deadliest conflagration in the state’s history, is poised to emerge from bankruptcy with its safety still in question.As the state braces for another fire season, the judge overseeing PG&E’s Chapter 11 case said Tuesday he would approve its $59 billion turnaround plan. Moments earlier, its chief executive officer pleaded guilty on behalf of the company to involuntary manslaughter, bringing its criminal case from the deadly blaze close to an end. And on Wall Street, PG&E moved forward with plans to sell bonds to fund its restructuring.The quick series of events concludes a tumultuous chapter for PG&E. Yet it’s exiting bankruptcy facing many of the same challenges as it did the day it filed. Efforts to strengthen its finances and safety procedures are still underway, and the long-term future of the giant utility remains in question.“It’s only going to take one season like the last couple and they’d be back in bankruptcy,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who led an unsuccessful push to turn PG&E into a customer-owned cooperative.During an online hearing, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali said he will issue a notice Wednesday outlining his plan to approve PG&E’s restructuring. The judge said he will schedule a hearing for Friday to iron out a handful of issues.“I’m going to come to the conclusion that the plan should be confirmed,” Montali said.An attorney for PG&E asked for an official order confirming the plan by Monday so the company can start selling $9 billion in equity to help fund its reorganization. It’s already sold $8.9 billion in investment-grade bonds and is raising $3.75 billion in junk bonds. As of Tuesday morning, the company had received about triple the number of orders it’s seeking for the high-yield notes.Read More: PRICED: Pacific Gas And Electric $8.925b Debt OfferingOn the morning of Nov. 8, 2018, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, a faulty PG&E transmission line ignited what soon became a hell on Earth -- a fire that soon consumed more than 150,000 acres, including the entire town of Paradise. It killed more than 80 people and destroyed nearly 19,000 homes, businesses and other structures.PG&E, which serves about 16 million people in Northern and Central California, has made some crucial changes since collapsing into bankruptcy in the aftermath of the blaze. It has replaced 11 of its 14 board members and is allowing for additional state oversight, appointing an independent safety monitor and dividing operations into regional units to focus more on safety. The company will have a new chief executive officer after its current one, Bill Johnson, steps down at the end of the month.As the judge prepared to announce his decision Tuesday, Johnson appeared in a California courtroom in Chico, some 20 miles from where the Camp Fire began. On behalf of the company, he pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of unlawfully starting a fire.“PG&E will never forget the Camp Fire and all that it took from this region,” Johnson said. “We remain deeply, deeply sorry for the terrible devastation we have caused.”READ MORE: PG&E Pleads Guilty to Killing 84 People in 2018 Camp FireHours after Johnson spoke, the Butte County District Attorney, who prosecuted the utility, released a scathing 92-page report of his probe into the Camp Fire. The findings included that a broken metal hook supporting the power line that started the blaze was at least 97 years old. The tower that held the equipment was about 100 years old.In essence, the prosecutor said, “PG&E blindly bought a used car. PG&E drove that car until it fell apart.”In a statement, PG&E said it has made “substantial progress” toward emerging from bankruptcy as a financially stable company that is positioned to safely supply California with power and help meet the state’s clean-energy goal.Critics, however, contend the reforms have yet to fully address the daunting operational challenges PG&E faces. Despite calls for the company to be broken up or turned into a government-owned entity, it will remain a colossal investor-owned utility. And it will emerge from Chapter 11 having nearly doubled its debt to more than $38 billion.As recently as May, a federal judge overseeing PG&E’s criminal probation stemming from a fatal gas-pipeline explosion in 2010 excoriated the company, saying it continues to drag its feet on safety and calling it a “recalcitrant criminal.”“If ever there was a corporation that deserved to go to prison -- it is PG&E,” U.S. District Judge William Alsup said during a virtual hearing. “I’m going to do everything within my power to protect the people of California from further crimes and further destruction by PG&E.”PG&E’s debt has raised concerns about its financial durability and its ability to make an estimated $40 billion in investments required to fire-proof its grid. In the meantime, the utility will need to resort to intentionally shutting off power to keep its lines from igniting fires during wind storms.The company expects to officially exit bankruptcy at some point this summer, after it closes on the financing it has lined up to fund its reorganization. If PG&E gets into trouble again, California will have the option to take the utility over as part of an agreement with the state to back its reorganization plan.“This company didn’t get much out of the bankruptcy that’s going to help it going forward,” said Jared Ellias, a bankruptcy law professor at the University of California, Hastings College of Law. “They are leaving bankruptcy basically having converted pre-bankruptcy claims into mostly debt they have to pay.”One key advantage PG&E will have once it formally exits Chapter 11 is the option to participate in a state fund established to help utilities cover liabilities from future fires linked to their equipment.In all, investigators blamed PG&E equipment for 21 fires in 2017 and 2018. PG&E’s downfall underscores the increasing vulnerability utilities face as wildfires and hurricanes become more extreme. That’s especially the case in California, where state law holds utilities liable for damages even if they aren’t found to be negligent.PG&E’s odyssey through Chapter 11 turned into a battle for control of the century-old company as some of the biggest names on Wall Street including Pacific Investment Management Co., Elliott Management Corp. and Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group fought over competing reorganization plans.Judge Montali says he will confirm PG&E’s proposal despite concerns from some fire victims about whether they will get the full value of a $13.5 billion settlement to pay claims filed on behalf of an estimated 70,000 families and businesses devastated by fires.Half of the settlement will be paid in stock that some victims worry may go down in value if PG&E is blamed for causing more wildfires this year. The trust could see a $2 billion shortfall in the value of its shares when PG&E emerges based on current stock price estimates, an attorney for fire victims said Tuesday during the bankruptcy hearing.“Everyone here in Northern California really needs this company to succeed,” Ellias said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    PG&E Statement on Company’s Guilty Plea Related to 2018 Camp Fire

    PG&E today entered its plea in Butte County Superior Court related to its role in the 2018 Camp Fire. In accordance with the agreement PG&E reached in March 2020 with the Butte County District Attorney, the company pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of unlawfully starting a fire.

  • Report: PG&E to Plead Guilty to Manslaughter for 2018 Wildfire Deaths
    Motley Fool

    Report: PG&E to Plead Guilty to Manslaughter for 2018 Wildfire Deaths

    84 people died in the Camp Fire that investigators determined was the fault of reckless maintenance of the utilities transmission system.

  • Business Wire

    PG&E Providing Grants to Fund the Operation of Cooling Centers

    Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) continues to provide financial grants to fund the operation of existing county- or city-run cooling centers. The centers provide a safe, comfortable location with air conditioning for those who need it. Many organizations are updating and modifying their approach to cooling centers this year to take into account the impacts of COVID-19 and the need to physically distance and/or wear masks or personal protective equipment (PPE).

  • When Silicon Valley Goes Dark This Time, There Will Be No Refuge
    Bloomberg

    When Silicon Valley Goes Dark This Time, There Will Be No Refuge

    (Bloomberg) -- Blackouts that hit millions of Californians in 2019 could be doubly calamitous this year with tech giants Google, Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. among the many companies keeping offices closed until the fall or later in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic.If utilities cut power again, home offices set up during the pandemic could go dark and stay dark for days, and they’ll have no corporate offices to flee to for power. In October 2019, more than 3 million people were affected by a series of rolling blackouts over more than a week as PG&E Corp. and Edison International tried to prevent live wires from sparking wildfires.Call it a collision of crises. Blackouts could limit California’s push to revive an economy largely paralyzed by stay-at-home orders this spring. The state, utilities and individual companies are all seeking ways to deal with blackouts before a wildfire season forecast to be worse than normal. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., for one, has “long contemplated this type of scenario,” according to spokesman Adam Bauer.The San Jose-based tech company is building in geographic redundancies, he said, with “the ability to shift work among distributed teams to maintain service to our customers and partners.”Neither Google, Twitter nor Facebook would comment on their plans. The state’s utilities and government officials, though, have said they’re working to minimize the threat.California regulators last month adopted new shutoff rules that will require the companies to restore electricity within 24 hours after the weather clears, although the state’s wind storms can last several days. PG&E, the state’s largest utility, has set its own goal of 12 daylight hours after the winds ease, and has nearly doubled the number of helicopters it will use to look for downed lines.Troublesome SignsStill, there are troublesome signs leading into this year’s wildfire season. A year ago at this time, the state was drought free. Now, almost 50% of California is gripped by drought, with the driest areas occurring across the northern part of the state, according to a June 2 assessment by the U.S. Drought Monitor.The result: an “above normal significant large fire potential,” according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. Already this year, more than 6,600 acres have been burned in the state. Small blazes are already cropping up on an almost daily basisAt the same time, the coronavirus has killed more than 4,900 people in California, forcing companies to allow employees to work at home, closing schools and restricting travel.“The reality is Mother Nature hasn’t changed her mind with respect to wildfires because of covid,” said Don Daigler, director of business resiliency for Edison’s Southern California Edison utility. “We still face the same fire risk as communities as we did last year.”Sheltered in Place“We’re going to have people sheltered in place and without power,” said Carl Guardino, chief executive officer of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group lobbying organization, which represents many of the region’s biggest companies.Guardino’s own home lost electricity for 5 days last year, he said. He ended up moving his family into a hotel. he said. Now, though, even that solution is unlikely given the coronavirus shutdowns.To be sure, many Californians have already turned to back-up power generators. Generac Holdings Inc. saw its sales in the state surge 300%, its chief executive officer told Bloomberg a month after the blackouts. And this spring, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group successfully lobbied state officials to let solar installers return to work months before many other businesses opened.But solar panels with a battery to store the power, can cost $30,000 to buy the hardware for a robust home system and have it installed, so it’s not for everyone.Utility ViewThe utilities, whose use of intentional blackouts last year provoked fierce criticism, are aware of the issue. But they don’t want the number of people working from home to affect their decision to shut off power, if weather conditions demand it.Those conditions -- high winds, hot temperatures, low humidity and dry vegetation -- should still be the determining factors, the utilities say.“The approach we take is different, but the calculus really hasn’t changed,” Edison’s Daigler said. Instead, they’re trying to reduce the need for shutoffs, and ensure that when they occur they are smaller and shorter than last year’s.“We want to reduce the impact of public safety power shutoffs on customers whether they are working from home or not,” said Matt Pender, director of the community wildfire safety program at PG&E.Forced Into BankruptcyPG&E, which was forced into bankruptcy last year after its equipment sparked deadly fires, is installing switches and other devices to isolate power cuts, making them more targeted than last year’s mass blackouts. The company has also secured mobile diesel generators that can be located at as many as 48 substations.Both PG&E and Edison are also hardening their field equipment, running some lines underground and installing stronger poles. Edison, for example, is installing 600 miles of power lines with coating that prevents sparks when touched by tree branches.PG&E estimates these steps should cut the number of customers affected in each potential blackout by one-third.Pop-Up CentersBoth companies are also planning to open more pop-up community resource centers during blackouts to allow for more social distancing between people who show up to cool down and charge phones and other devices.They’ll send vans equipped with charging stations into darkened neighborhoods to help customers who don’t go to the centers, potentially a large number of people at a time when gathering with strangers brings risks.Some county governments, along with the city of San Jose, asked state utility regulators in April to impose new rules on the shutoff program. The commission, though, said the final decision should stay with the utilities.“Based on these rules and standards, it is appropriate for the utilities to have the final say over shutting down power and for the CPUC to hold them accountable,” spokeswoman Terrie Prosper said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    Humboldt Bay Generating Station Ready to Serve as a Direct Local Power Source During Emergencies, Reducing Impact of PSPS Events

    Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced the Humboldt Bay Generating Station (HBGS) can now provide power directly to customers, if needed, during emergencies, including Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events and other events outside Humboldt County that are impacting the county. This is part of the company’s continuing effort to reduce impacts on its customers during a PSPS event and other wide-spread power outages.

  • Business Wire

    PG&E Strengthening Community Resilience with Comprehensive Microgrid Solutions

    Today, the California Public Utilities Commission approved Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E’s) comprehensive and cost-effective microgrid proposals, which are designed to reduce the number of customers affected by Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events and mitigate the impacts to those who remain affected. A PSPS may be used when severe weather threatens a portion of the electric system and PG&E determines it’s necessary to turn off electricity to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire.