The increasing demands for electricity and the changing climate pose significant challenges for utilities, but also present an opportunity for innovation. As one of the largest combined electric and natural gas companies in the U.S., PG&E is rising to meet these challenges and better serve about 16 million customers. It is comprehensively rebuilding the California electric grid for the next 100 years and making its assets more resilient to weather events. Ahmad Ababneh and Shawn Adderly, the leaders of PG&E’s Electric Transmission and Substation team, will delve into insights PG&E has obtained from modernizing its electrical system to improve reliability in transmission and distribution services at the lowest possible cost to customers.
They acknowledge and discuss challenges to grid hardening such as costs of infrastructure and complex technology that requires specialized skills. They will share innovations, case studies, promising findings, and best practices from PG&E’s transmission and distribution construction projects, including undergrounding and smart sensor technology.
• Reliability benefits by reducing outages on circuits that have been undergrounded or hardened.
• Cost savings from hardening measures can reduce the costs associated with power outages and service disruptions.
• Constructing microgrids can reduce the risk of wildfires and enhance grid reliability. Microgrids are driving improvements in restoration time, and reductions in public power safety shutoffs and vegetation management costs.
• Implementing sectionalizing devices to limit the scope of necessary outages while keeping customers safe.
Ahmad Ababneh, PG&E
Shawn Adderly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company