UPDATE (1:58 PM): Power has been restored for many residents in Atascadero.
PG&E Spokesperson Carina Corral gave Atascadero News the following statement:
This outage was activated by PG&E’s Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings (EPSS). To help keep customers and communities safe in the face of growing wildfire risk, PG&E has installed a new technology on lines in high fire threat areas called EPSS. These settings are activated to turn power off immediately when the system detects a danger, such as a fallen tree, a broken-off branch flying with the wind, an animal or bird strike, or some other such foreign object making contact with the powerlines (such as a car/pole incident). When activated, the EPSS technology de-energizes the line within one-tenth of a second to protect the community from potential wildfire starts. This measure is a proven wildfire prevention tool. In 2022, we saw a more than 68% reduction in CPUC-reportable ignitions on EPSS-enabled lines in High Fire-Threat Districts (compared to the 2018-2020 average).
Originally more than 7,000 customers were affected by today’s outage. The number of affected customers is now fewer than 300.
ATASCADERO — Residents in Atascadero are experiencing an unexpected power outage as of roughly 9 a.m. today. According to PG&E Outage updates, 7,087 residents are without power.
Residents are reporting to have no power around the Traffic Way and Highway 101 area. Cause of outage is unknown at this time.
PG&E is predicting power to restored around 4:15 p.m. today.
Atascadero News is following this story and will provide updates here when they become available.