PG&E has installed underground powerlines to serve the Greenville area devastated by wildfire. File photo

PG&E completes main underground powerline to Greenville

Pacific Gas and Electric Company has completed an 8-mile main underground power line from a substation in Canyon Dam to Power Line Road along Highway 89.

More than 1,600 PG&E electric customers, mostly in Greenville and some in outer Crescent Mills, will no longer rely on utility scale generators at PG&E’s Crescent Mills substation. The switch to grid power provides more consistent and reliable energy delivery and eliminates noise and emissions from substation generators.

In about mid-October, traffic controls will no longer be in place between Canyon Dam and Greenville as PG&E’s contractor stops asphalt restoration. Asphalt restoration will resume in the spring after winter weather.

“We at PG&E are deeply committed to doing everything we can to prevent wildfires in the communities we serve and live in,” said Joe Wilson, Vice President of PG&E’s North Valley & Sierra Region and a Plumas County native. “Our region has been devastated by wildfires in recent years. Undergrounding work protects our customers, neighbors, friends and families.”

Other PG&E power line undergrounding projects currently underway in Plumas County include:

  • Along Highway 70 east of the Plumas-Butte county line.
  • Along Highway 70 between Storrie and Belden.
  • Along Highway 89 between Indian Falls and Moccasin.
  • Areas of Greenville.

After underground power lines are energized and placed into service, PG&E will later remove overhead power lines that previously provided power.

PG&E is working closely with the county of Plumas and other agencies to ensure our work is well coordinated with the other projects such as road work.

In 2021, PG&E announced a multiyear infrastructure safety program to underground approximately 10,000 miles of powerlines in and near high fire-risk areas.

Building and expanding PG&E’s electric system underground will not only help reduce wildfires caused by equipment but will also help improve reliability and reduce the need and/or frequency for Public Safety Power Shutoffs and other safety outages.

Undergrounding is just one of PG&E’s layers of wildfire protection that has proven to be effective in reducing wildfire risk.

All customers are impacted by wildfires, regardless of whether they reside near an actual fire zone. By undergrounding powerlines, and therefore reducing ignition risk in that location by approximately 98 percent, all customers will benefit from reducing all potential effects from ignitions.

PG&E anticipate the undergrounding cost per mile will decrease as the scale of the project increases, to approximately $2.8 million per mile in 2026.

About PG&E 
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation, is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.