PG&E building temporary power grid in Magalia to keep lights on during power safety shutoffs

Representatives from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) say construction is underway for a temporary microgrid in a part of Magalia. Once it is turned on, it will provide power to essential places during a power safety shutoff.

Posted: Dec 16, 2020 9:11 AM
Updated: Dec 16, 2020 9:17 AM

MAGALIA, Calif. - Representatives from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) say construction is underway for a temporary microgrid in a part of Magalia. Once it is turned on, it will provide power to essential places during a power safety shutoff.

The microgrid site is located at 14049 Lakeridge Circle near the Magalia Pines Baptist Church. Once the microgrid is online, it has the capability to connect mobile generators to the site. 

Some of the places that would get the benefit of backup power would be in nearby places like the:

  • Fire station
  • Sheriff's office substation
  • Post office
  • Water district facility
  • One gas station
  • Markets
  • Church
  • Drug store
  • Restaurants

The added boost in power would also go to customers who live around the microgrid on the Skyway and Lakeridge Circle loop, as well as north on Skyway up to Drexel Drive. Those customers will be notified of the inclusion in the microgrid and how will it operate during a shutoff.

Construction workers on site are required to wear masks, wear protective equipment and keep at least six feet apart during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to PG&E.

Action News Now spoke with a Magalia resident, Kevin Robinson, who said this project can't come soon enough.

"This thing is good news," said Robinson.

He adds, "being able to actually have power here for the stores and stuff like that. I was actually talking with people in Rite Aid who were almost wanting to quit. Every time it went out, they couldn't afford to do that all the time."

Another Magalia man, Bill Eggert, welcomes the resource as well. He showed Action News Now how he gets through power safety shutoffs in the area.

"The longest is three days, maybe one time it was four but that didn't cause us any trouble," Eggert said.

He says his current generator, can last up to eight hours, but that's not always enough.

"I travel a little bit and we were gone with a rig. The powerhead had gone off, we [him and his wife] had one occasion where the food went bad," Eggert said.

Eggert says despite the nice resource Magalia is receiving from PG&E, he will continue his own routine to stay prepared.

"We get warnings on our cellphones that allow us time to prepare for it," Eggert said.

The temporary power grid is set to be complete sometime in December.

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