Manager’s Message — January 2019
Happy new year! 2018 was a full, productive year for PSREC and PST. PSREC continued to improve system reliability and response times through our Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system. The operations department worked hard to upgrade and automate control of key switches, which will accelerate power restoration in outage situations.
We also increased our vegetation management and removal of hazard trees on our system for reliability and fire safety. State law now requires landowners to allow us on private property to remove trees that are hazardous to our power lines, even when outside of the right-of-way. We appreciate the increased cooperation we have had from our members on this key reliability and safety issue.
The Camp Fire was a horrific event for our neighbors in Butte County. Our cooperative, and the region, was affected as the main feed from PG&E between the central valley and Plumas County was cut a few minutes after 8 a.m. on November 8. PSREC switched to our backup power supply within a few minutes, and stayed partially or wholly on backup power for a few hours short of three weeks.
PSREC has invested in a connection to the Nevada grid and our own cogeneration facility between the state prisons near Susanville. Because we invested in improvements to our system controls, we were able to quickly switch our system in discrete pieces that greatly increased the speed of restoring power. In addition, our brand new solar plant came on line in time to help cover our morning peaks.
After several days, we worked with PG&E and shifted some of our western substations onto PG&E’s islanded system that was keeping Plumas County customers on line. PSREC serves two state prisons and one federal prison. We are grateful they ran their generators day and night, allowing us to carry the rest of the membership until we were able to switch load back to PG&E.
Your board of directors has invested in a reliable grid year after year. We have a far-flung electric system with only six customers per mile of line. These investments have paid off. If it wasn’t for our sustained efforts over time, we would have been faced with rolling blackouts for three weeks.
Be Prepared for Outages
Even though your cooperative has invested in system improvements, removed hazard trees and kept up its ongoing maintenance, outages can and will happen. Being prepared can help make the best of a bad situation. Please visit our website, www.psrec.coop, for information on outage preparedness and electrical safety.
You can receive updates on major, systemwide outages via text. To sign up, text “PSREC” to 95577. Please report all outages to us, day or night, at 800-555-2207.
Thanks to our backup transmission feed from NV Energy, our High Sierra Cogeneration Plant, the prisons running their onsite generators and member conservation, we were able to keep the lights on for 20 days during the PG&E outage caused by the Camp Fire. We appreciate everyone pitching in to conserve and prevent rolling blackouts.
Our Operations staff did a great job through all this, working in shifts that covered our SCADA system 24 hours a day during the holidays. Thanks so much to Jason Harston, Scott Welch, and their staff and crews for going above and beyond.
PST completed upgrades to the old cable TV system to begin offering broadband services via coax in Graeagle and portions of West Quincy. PST also upgraded and installed new wireless access points across our region to improve broadband service availability.
We continue to upgrade the remainder of the system in West Quincy to provide broadband via coax, and will proceed with Chandler Road, Plumas Pines, Loyalton and Sierra Brooks expansion during 2019.
Please call us at (800) 221-3474 or visit our website at www.pst.coop for more information and to sign up for service.
PSREC and PST are again offering scholarships to students who receive either electric or internet services from PSREC or PST at their primary residence in Plumas, Sierra, Lassen and Washoe counties. An application can be found on page 28. There is no upper age limit to apply for scholarships. The deadline is March 15. More information can also be found on our website at www.psrec.coop.
If you have any questions, please call me at (800) 555-2207 ext. 6076, or email me at email@example.com.