At Silicon Valley Power, we’re continually monitoring, evolving and expanding our safety efforts throughout our service territory and beyond. While we’re fortunate that the City of Santa Clara isn’t designated as a high fire threat area because of our urban conditions, flat terrain and low fuel load, we know that there are still risks and are always looking for ways to minimize them. 

 

What this means for our customers

While the risk of wildfires is very low in Santa Clara, a public safety power outage could impact customers who receive electric service from Silicon Valley Power due to the interconnected nature of the electric grid.

What is the PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff program?
How does it affect Santa Clara residents?
What should I do to prepare?

Public Safety Power Shutoff Criteria

Each extreme weather event which may require a Public Safety Power Shutoff is unique. While no single factor will drive a Public Safety Power Shutoff, some factors include: 

  • A red flag warning declared by the National Weather Service
  • Low humidity levels – generally 20% and below
  • Forecasted sustained winds generally above 25 mph and wind gusts in excess of approximately 45 mph

What to expect 

If a Public Safety Power Shutoff is needed due to extreme weather conditions, you can expect:

  • Early Warning Notification –When possible, PG&E will notify Silicon Valley Power 48 hours, 24 hours and just before power lines are turned off. 
  • Ongoing Updates – Silicon Valley Power will provide ongoing updates through social media, local news outlets and on siliconvalleypower.com. Updates will continue until power is restored.
    Be sure to sign up for news alerts and follow SVP on Twitter
  • Safety Inspections – After extreme weather has passed, PG&E and SVP will inspect the lines in affected areas before power is safely restored.
  • Power Restoration – Power outages could last multiple days depending on the severity of the weather and other factors. It is important that you and your family have an emergency preparedness plan in place.

Working together to protect our communities from wildfires

With the growing threat of extreme weather and wildfires, PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff program includes all distribution and transmission electric lines that pass through high fire-threat areas. PG&E will only turn off lines in the interest of safety to help reduce the likelihood of an ignition when extreme fire danger conditions are forecasted.

Safety is SVP’s number one priority. If extreme condition, such as high risk of fires threaten our system, we may be required to temporarily turn off power to protect public safety. The decisions to turn off power as a last resort, requires a balancing of several factors such as: circumstances of the emergency, wind speed, temperature, humidity and field observations.

Although the risk is low, if we must shut off power when the demand for power is extremely high, rotating outages could occur. Rotating outages would be a last resort and we’ll use every tool at our disposal, including load management, commercial customer curtailment and buying power on the open market before we would consider rotating outages.

View Full Site