Manager’s Message — November 2020

Dear Members:

We received calls and questions about PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs that affected us. Our connection to the west is through 60,000volt sub-transmission lines that run through the Feather River Canyon via the Caribou powerhouses run by PG&E. We do not buy power from PG&E, but our normal supply is wheeled to us through their system.

If the lines from Caribou to Quincy go down, we can serve most, if not all, of the cooperative’s members by using our own generators, switching our feed to the Nevada grid, and with the cooperation of the three prisons on our system using their generators.

That’s why our members generally enjoy more reliable service than PG&E’s customers to the west of us.

If the Caribou powerhouse is cut off from the main PG&E system, PG&E can carry part of our load as well as their Quincy load.

We did experience several outages due to PG&E work in the canyon and Public Safety Power Shutoffs. On September 7, a PSPS caused a brief outage while we switched to our backup feed from NV Energy. On September 15, we experienced an outage of about 20 minutes due to PG&E problems in the canyon. On September 24, the north portion of our system experienced a short outage due to PG&E work in the canyon. On September 27, we experienced about two hours of outages due to a PG&E PSPS and their generators at the Caribou powerhouse going offline.

Plumas-Sierra has been on a 25-year all-out campaign to improve our right-of-way maintenance, removing thousands of overcrowded trees that threatened our lines. It has not been cheap, but it has paid off in better reliability, better relationships with the U.S. Forest Service and other federal agencies, and reduced risk of fires. These efforts also reduced the amount of damage to our infrastructure during the Claremont and Sheep fires in August. It has been a sustained campaign by our operations staff, backed by your board of directors. We have successfully worked to get state law changed so we have the right to access private property when trees on private land threaten our system.

PSREC’s crews work year-round to prevent outages and prepare for winter storms. Being prepared for an emergency and knowing what to do during an outage are vital for personal safety and quick restoration of power. Equip your home with a power outage kit. If someone in your home depends on electric-powered life-sustaining equipment, make a plan for backup power. Please install surge protectors on sensitive electronics and appliances. Buy surge protectors that have a warranty for your connected load.

Once we get to winter and the storms hit, if your lights start to flicker, turn off and unplug sensitive electronic equipment immediately and reduce any unnecessary load.

For more information on outage preparedness and safety, visit To receive updates on outages via text message, log in to SmartHub, and set your notification preferences. If you need assistance signing up for outage communications, please call us at (530) 832-4261.

Winter Rate Assistance Program

We are accepting applications for the Winter Rate Assistance Program (WRAP), which offers a discounted rate for November through April to income-qualified members.

WRAP provides information to help members conserve energy and offers a discounted electric rate during the heating season.

For more information and a WRAP application, visit, or call (530) 832-4261.


 Construction of PST’s five grant projects is scheduled for completion by the end of the year. Areas include Johnsville, Mohawk Vista, parts of C Road, Lake Davis, Keddie, Johnstonville, and Elysian Valley. We have a huge workload on our plate and are trying to get to everyone as fast as possible. This requires us to organize our work as efficiently as possible and group our installations to cover the communities and as many of our members as possible while still meeting the mandatory deadlines.

We ask for your patience as we build out. We are increasing speeds for all our packages and are excited to share details in next month’s issue of Ruralite.

If you have not already contacted us to be placed on our interest list to be contacted when service is available in your area, please call (800) 221-3474 or visit our website.

PST submitted six additional grant applications to the California Advanced Services Fund to continue expansion of broadband coverage to the hardest-to-reach parts of our service area. We will find out at the end of the year if we have been awarded additional funding.

If you have any questions, please call me at (800) 555-2207 ext. 6076, or email me.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!


Bob Marshall
General Manager

Power Content Label

Eligible Renewable 1 4.0% 31.7%
Biomass & Biowaste 0.0% 2.4%
Geothermal 3.2% 4.8%
Eligible Hydroelectric 0.7% 2.0%
Solar 0.1% 12.3%
Wind 0.0% 10.2%
Coal  0.0%  3.0%
Large Hydroelectric  57.3% 14.6%
Natural Gas  28.1% 34.2%
Nuclear 0.0%  9.0%
Other 0.0% 0.2%
Unspecified sources of power 2  10.6%  7.3%
Total 100% 100%

Percentage of Retail Sales Covered by Retired Unbundled RECs — 0.0%

1 The eligible renewable percentage above does not reflect RPS compliance, which is determined using a different methodology.

2 Unspecified power is electricity that has been purchased through open market transactions and is not traceable to a specific generation source.

3 Renewable energy credits (RECs) are tracking instruments issued for renewable generation. Unbundled renewable energy credits (RECs) represent renewable generation that was not delivered to serve retail sales. Unbundled RECs are not reflected in the power mix or GHG emissions intensities above.

PSREC 2019 Power Mix

3.2% — Geothermal
0.7% — Eligible Hydroelectric
0.1% — Solar
57.3% — Large Hydroelectric
28.1% — Natural Gas
10.6% — Unspecified

2019 CA Power Mix

2.4% —Biomass & biowaste
4.8% — Geothermal
2% — Eligible hydroelectric
12.3% — Solar
10.2% — Wind
3% — Coal
14.6% — Large Hydroelectric
34.2% — Natural Gas
9% — Nuclear

Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative supports renewable energy and has built a 2.5-megawatt solar system at the Sierra Army Depot in Herlong to support the net zero goals of the U.S. Army and provide a community solar program to members who may not want to make the large upfront investment in a solar system, are renting or live in an area with shading where a solar system would not produce optimal energy output. For more information on the program, visit our website or call (800) 555-2207.