Pacific Gas & Electric

How PG&E Performs Wildfire Risk Mitigation


PG&E works with Technosylva to advance their wildfire risk reduction decision-making process with data-driven results. Technosylva’s platform advances PG&E’s risk modeling for fire severity and fire behavior characteristics while capturing valuable information on the potential consequences of ignition, for use in real-time wildfire risk forecasting for PSPS determination across their service territory.

  • 68% decrease in reportable ignitions on primary distribution conductors in 2022 compared to 2021
  • 99% reduction in acres impacted in 2022 compared to 2018-2020 – 3 year average
  • 56% reduction in average duration of EPSS outage in 2022 compared to 2021
Hear from the CEO of PG&E, Patti Poppe, as she explains to Bloomberg News how technology is helping PG&E combat wildfire risk through advanced modeling, strengthened situational awareness, and improved decision-making for asset hardening.
Watch Interview

Improving PSPS Decision Making

“PG&E partners with Technosylva, an external expert in the wildfire modeling field, to test and deploy cloud-based wildfire spread model capabilities. This helps us better understand where we might need to turn off power.”

Power Off for Safety2022 Safety Outage Decision-Making Guide

Fire Spread Modeling & PSPS

PG&E works with Technosylva to simulate fire spread and consequence impacts. These simulations are performed across your assets for the forecast period to provide the highest risk areas throughout your service territory over the next five days.

Outputs are used in PSPS assessments, long-term planning models, and real-time fire spread analysis to understand the impacts of the risk, and to better understand the consequences from fires had PSPS not been executed.

Identifying Circuit Risk

Using real-time weather models, state-of-the-art fuel, and 8-hour fire spread modeling, Technosylva produces fire simulation forecasts on the consequence of a wildfire’s potential impact on customers, wildlife and infrastructures on each circuit for every three hours. These forecasts are used to determine the distribution circuits and transmission lines for a potential PSPS and the data is used as inputs into a risk-benefit tool. 

The risk-benefit tool quantifies the potential public safety risk and wildfire risk resulting from the forecasted impacts of the potential PSPS event. The Officer in Charge reviews the output of this analysis to help decide whether to de-energize the areas in consideration to protect public safety.

PG&E Using Technosylva
for Asset Hardening

Learn how PG&E is meeting and exceeding its goal
for undergrounding lines at risk to wildfire.
Read More

Deciding where undergrounding is prioritized is done through a machine learning program by Technosylva that helps identify areas that will have the most risk-benefit by putting the lines underground.

Joe WilsonRegional Vice President, PG&E

Consequence Analysis with Fire Severity Simulation Modeling

Technology allows PG&E to forecast approximately 100 million virtual fires daily across our territory in forecast mode, simulate fires on demand as they start, simulate hypothetical fires based on PSPS damage and hazard reports, and simulate fires in past weather scenarios.

Technosylva simulation outputs are used as the source of fire severity data that is the primary input into the spatial wildfire consequence calculations. Each day, PG&E performs more than 100 million fire spread simulations every three hours showing simulations for the next 3 days. These simulations provide fire spread outputs (e.g., potential number of acres burned, and population impacted) and can be visualized per overhead circuit in forecast mode to determine the highest risk circuits every three hours.

PG&E also has the ability through Technosylva’s Wildfire Analyst Enterprise to simulate fires on-demand. This involves selecting a location on a map, the start time of ignition, and the simulation duration in hours. The Technosylva wildfire spread model uses the dynamic weather forecast of wind and fuel moisture to model how the wildfire might spread.

Weather & Fuel Modeling Improvements Beyond Public Sources

Improving and Ensuring Accurate Fuels Data

Technosylva provides a fuels data updating subscription used by PG&E and other IOUs that ensures surface and canopy fuels data is kept up to date during the calendar year. The fuel model map baseline is adjusted to account for recent burn scars and vegetation regrowth. PG&E worked closely with Technosylva fire scientists to consolidate and adjust the 50+ fuel model types as conditions change seasonally to drive more accurate simulations and wildfire mitigation decisions. 

PG&E Improving Credit Standing With Wildfire Risk Reduction

According to a recent study by Moody’s Investors Service, improvement in a utility’s credit rating can lead to measurable interest savings on its outstanding debt, which can translate into significant interest savings and reallocation of funding for other priorities. Learn more here about how PG&E has improved their standings.

Read More

PG&E’s positive outlook reflects the potential for a higher credit rating as it continues to invest heavily on wildfire mitigation, improves its relationship with stakeholders, and establishes a track record of limiting large, catastrophic wildfires that are caused by the utility’s equipment

Jeff CassellaVice President - Senior Credit Officer

Reserve Your Individual Session

Better understand your specific wildfire risk exposure and
next steps to mitigate your risk with one of our solutions specialists.