Manager’s Message — November 2021
When you receive this, we hopefully will be close to getting our connection back from PG&E. They have given us a rough timeframe of early November for our main transmission feed to be restored. I would like to thank everyone for their patience, support, and continued conservation efforts. It’s been quite a struggle. Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperartive (PSREC) serves three prisons and they all deserve thanks for running their generators as much as possible to reduce load. I would also like to thank Sierra Army Depot for reducing use and running generators to help keep the lights on for everyone.
Past measures implemented by the cooperative lessened the impact of the loss of our main transmission feed. Your board of directors had the foresight to approve the construction of the Marble Intertie back in the 1990s, as well as construction of the High Sierra Cogeneration Power Plant and the solar project on the Sierra Army Depot property. All these projects, along with timely conservation by all the members,have gotten us through this extreme summer, though it hasn’t been perfect. In early October, we had two different outages on the NV Energy backup line—one caused by lightning, and the second by a fire near a transmission pole.
As we head into winter with limited power supply, 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 our website. To receive outage updates 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.
Questions From Annual Meeting
As discussed last month, we wanted to answer some of the questions we received during the annual meeting.
The first question was: Do we use the same power lines as PG&E and where do we buy our power? Plumas-Sierra buys power from the power markets in California and Nevada, and generates some of its own power. We buy from the Western Area Power Administration and we generate our own power off our system through the Northern California Power Agency. Our High Sierra Cogeneration Plant generates about 20% of our peak needs and our solar installation at the Sierra Army Depot generates additional power. We also buy power through the Utah Association of Municipal Power System. We don’t buy power from PG&E, but they wheel power from the west to our system through some of the same lines that serve their customers.
The second question was: Are your lines overhead or underground? Most of our lines are overhead. Underground service is mostly in newer subdivisions.
Third: How do you pick where to expand fiber-optic? The largest driver of that is grant availability. The grants are very specific on which areas are eligible, as determined by the CPUC.
When we build a grant-funded project, we also use our own funds to expand service into nearby non-grant areas. For non-grant areas not adjacent to grant projects, we analyze factors such as project cost, need for service, and member interest to prioritize areas for expansion.
Winter Rate Assistance Program
We are accepting applications for the Winter Rate Assistance Program, 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 our website or call (530) 832-4261.
Crews have completed repairs to the fiber-optic cable damaged by wildfire and have returned to normal construction and installation schedules. If you have not already contacted us to schedule your service installation, please call (530) 832-4261 or visit Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications (PST).
PST is still waiting to find out from the California Public Utilities Commission if it will be awarded additional grant funds from the California Advanced Services Fund to continue expansion of broadband coverage to the hardest-to-reach parts of our service area. We expect to find out by the end of the year.
Are you on our waiting list? If you would like to check on how soon service is coming to your area, please email our Fiber department. If you would like to sign up for the waiting list or make sure you are still on the list, please email our Fiber department or call us at (530) 832-6021.
If you have any questions, please call me at (530) 832-6076 or email me.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!