SOURCE: Bloomberg

DATE: June 11, 2020

SNIP: Despite environmental concerns, California will allow PG&E Corp. to use diesel-powered mobile generators to keep some electricity flowing when the utility proactively cuts power to prevent live wires from sparking fires in high wind.

State regulators signed off Thursday on PG&E’s plan to use about 450 megawatts of diesel generation to power homes, businesses, hospitals and other critical facilities as part of the utility’s effort to reduce disruptions during the shutoffs.

Last fall, regulators criticized PG&E for intentionally blacking out millions of customers to prevent power lines from sparking fires during dry, windy conditions.

PG&E said it considered more environmentally-friendly options but they proved too costly or impractical to deploy in time this year. The company said its mobile generators can use fuel made from vegetable oil and that it will continue to explore cleaner alternatives for the coming years.