U.S. Department Of Energy, SDG&E Partner To Improve Resiliency Of Nation's Electric Grid

Apr 30, 2015

SAN DIEGO, April 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) joined U.S. Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz, to formally launch the U.S. Department of Energy's Partnership for Energy Sector Climate Resilience. As a leading participant in the partnership, SDG&E will collaborate with the Department of Energy (DOE) and 16 other utilities to improve the resilience of the nation's energy infrastructure against extreme weather and climate change impacts.

"Collaboration between the public and private sectors will be vital to our nation's preparedness for climate-related changes that could impact our country's electric grid," said Steven D. Davis, SDG&E's president and chief operating officer. "SDG&E is honored to partner with this group of leaders who are paving the way for how the energy industry is adapting to change to help ensure a sustainable and reliable energy system."

During today's official launch, Secretary Moniz and top executives from partnership companies discussed how to accelerate investments in technologies, practices, and policies that will enable a resilient 21st century energy system. Under the partnership program, owners and operators of energy assets will develop and pursue strategies to reduce climate and weather-related vulnerabilities. Collectively, these partners and the DOE will develop resources to facilitate risk-based decision making and pursue cost-effective strategies for a more climate-resilient U.S. energy infrastructure.

"The goal of this partnership is to identify the challenges our energy partners are facing today and how we can work together to develop some sustainable solutions," Davis said.

Delivering safe and reliable energy is a core mission at SDG&E and this partnership is an opportunity to work with others to help ensure that the Southwest region (and the rest of the nation) is adequately prepared.

At SDG&E, changing weather patterns have been monitored for years. Currently, SDG&E operates one of the largest and most sophisticated utility-owned weather networks in the nation. By deploying this advanced weather-tracking technology, SDG&E and its meteorologists have provided yet another tool that improves safety and empowers the community to a new level of knowledge and preparedness in the San Diego region. 

Additionally, last year, SDG&E, the U. S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, and UCLA, unveiled a new web-based tool to classify the fire threat potential of a weather phenomenon unique to Southern California – the powerful, hot, dry Santa Ana winds that can turn a spark into an inferno.

The Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index, which includes four classification levels from "Marginal" to "Extreme," will be used to help fire agencies, other first-responders and the public determine the appropriate actions to take based on the likelihood of a catastrophic wildfire fueled by high winds if an ignition were to occur.

These are just a few examples of the kind of valuable information that will help contribute to the important goals of the Partnership for Energy Sector Climate Resilience.

For more information about the partnership, visit whitehouse.gov.

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and 868,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. Connect with SDG&E's Customer Contact Center at 800-411-7343, on Twitter (@SDGE) and Facebook.

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SOURCE San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

For further information: Allison Zaragoza, San Diego Gas & Electric, 877-866-2066, sdge.com, Twitter: @sdge