SEATTLE (AP) — Private electric utilities in the Pacific Northwest are planning tens of millions of dollars in upgrades to lower the risk that their power lines could spark wildfires during extreme weather.
The Northwest News Network reports utilities such as Pacific Power, Avista, Idaho Power, Portland General Electric and Puget Sound Energy are either required to or are voluntarily submitting wildfire mitigation plans.
The 2022 editions are now public.
The reports show major spending increases to harden infrastructure, remove trees near power lines and install systems to instantaneously de-energize circuits if a fault is detected during a windstorm.
Utilities will eventually seek to recover those costs through customers’ monthly bills.