Manager’s Message — July 2020
Due to the unprecedented impacts of COVID- 19 and Plumas-Sierra’s goals of protecting members and staff, this year’s annual meeting is being reviewed for both location and for exact structure. It may have a limited physical presence or it may be completely virtual. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 3. The August issue of Ruralite will have all the details of the meeting, so please be sure to look for that information.
Up for election are District 6 (North Doyle, Milford, and Herlong areas) served by Tom Hammond, and District 7 (Edgemont and Levitt areas) served by Nancy Miller.
If you are interested in running for the PSREC Board of Directors and live in one of those districts, please contact me as soon as possible. The deadline for nominations by petition is July 20.
If you are unsure of your district, please visit our website to view the map, or call the office at (800) 555-2207.
A copy of the PSREC Qualifications and Nomination Procedures is available on our website.
Public Safety Power Shutoffs
We know that some of you were frustrated with the repeated outages that tended to occur at 10 p.m. and last a few minutes. We were also frustrated but, as we shared last month, Pacific Gas and Electric needed the changes in our system that would allow them to install new switches that will reduce the number of outages, speed up restoration of power to their customers, and reduce the number of customers off during an outage. This is key for our region’s economic health, even if the improvements are not necessarily on our own power grid.
PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs could affect Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative’s transmission feed. PSREC will use backup resources as much as possible to keep the impact of these shutoffs as minimal as possible, but members need to be prepared for outages and possible rolling blackouts.
We will provide as much notice as possible, and will post information on our website, on social media, and via text message. To sign up for text message notifications, log in to SmartHub from our website or the SmartHub app, and set your notification preferences. If you need assistance signing up for notifications, please call us at (800) 555-2207.
For more information on Public Safety Power Shutoffs and how to be prepared, please visit our Public Safety Power Shutoffs page.
If you or someone in your home has special medical equipment, please contact the PSREC office during normal business hours and ask to be put on the LifeLine list. Please provide us with a landline or cellphone number, as wireless phones do not work without electricity. If someone in your home depends on electric-powered, life-sustaining equipment, make a plan for backup power.
If you are going to install a generator and connect it to the electrical system of your house, please make sure this is done to code using an automated system like a Generac switch, or a manual double-pull double-throw switch that separates your house from the grid. Failure to do so could cause injury or fire, leading to potentially massive liability on your part and disconnection from the grid, if discovered. For more information on a double-pull double-throw switch, please talk to a licensed electrician.
The Cooperative is actively studying ways to upgrade our transmission system even further so that we can avoid PSPS issues, but solutions are not cheap and will take time.
You can count on your cooperative to always be working toward reliable, clean, safe and affordable power.
Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications is working to expand broadband coverage of fiber optic service with speeds of up to 1-gigabyte per second through the California Advanced Services Fund grants in several areas. For our members on C-Road and Mohawk Vista, please make sure you are on our waiting list. The grants hit pockets that can seem haphazard, but will drag service past areas like the northern end of Chandler Road near Quincy, and Wingfield Road near Susanville.
In addition, PST and our parent electric cooperative have been working together to expand service in several other areas including Grizzly Road, Plumas Eureka, Sierraville, Sattley, and Calpine. We are also working on expanding wireless service in southern Sierra Valley with an option that will provide speeds of up to 50 Mbps. PST’s service offers unlimited data use so your family can stop fighting over bandwidth.
We know that some of you have been frustrated with our being unable to install inside homes due to COVID-19 concerns. We analyze our options every week, and are working on being able to install on the exterior of houses.
PST has installed a new internet hot spot with improved outdoor range at the Calpine Community Center to allow people to work or participate in online education activities from their cars during the COVID-19 pandemic. PST hotspots are free to the public. Locations of all our hotspots throughout the region are on our website.