PG&E will bury 10k miles of power lines so they don't spark wildfires
PG&E Will Bury 10,000 Miles of Power Lines So They Don't Spark Wildfires Pacific Gas & Electric expects to spend at least $15 billion on the effort to prevent its fraying grid from igniting trees and other vegetation across drought-stricken California. SAN RAMON, Calif. - Pacific Gas & Electric plans to bury 10,000 miles of its power lines in an effort to prevent its fraying grid from sparking wildfires when electrical equipment collides with millions of trees and other vegetation across drought-stricken California. Most of the costs will likely be shouldered by PG&E customers, whose electricity rates are already among the highest in the U.S. PG&E stepped up its safety commitment just days after informing regulators a 70-foot pine tree that toppled on one of its power lines ignited a major fire in Butte County, the same rural area about 145 miles northeast of San Francisco where another fire sparked by its equipment in 2018 killed more than 80 people and destroyed thousands of homes. Previous PG&E regimes have staunchly resisted plans to bury long stretches of power lines because of the massive expense involved. In the few areas where PG&E has already been burying power lines, it has been completing about 70 miles annually. PG&E expects to eventually be able to bury more than 1,000 miles of power lines annually, said its chief operating officer, Adam Wright. Since getting out of bankruptcy, PG&E also has been rebuked by California power regulators and a federal judge overseeing its criminal probation for breaking promises to reduce the dangers posed by trees near its power lines.