The Truckee Donner Public Utility District (TDPUD) has been working diligently with our customers and local public safety partners to prepare for wildfire season and the new NV Energy Public Safety Outage Management (PSOM) wildfire safety power outages. Starting mid-morning Thursday, Sept. 16, the greater Truckee community got our first taste of a potential NV Energy PSOM wildfire safety outage followed by an unplanned NV Energy transmission outage that impacted over half of the Truckee community on Sunday morning. Below is a recap of the events and outcomes.
An early-season cold front impacted the greater Truckee area starting Saturday, Sept. 18 through Sunday, Sept. 19. NV Energy, based on the weather forecast and severe wildfire conditions, notified TDPUD mid-morning on Thursday, Sept. 16 that there was a PSOM watch to de-energize all transmission to Truckee starting at 4 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 19. The dangerous conditions were forecast to last till 5 p.m. Sunday at which both NV Energy and TDPUD would need to start to visually patrol 100% of our overhead electric system in order to safely restore power. The end result would have been an outage impacting all of TDPUD’s customers for one to two days.
TDPUD quickly notified a group of local Truckee public safety partners – which includes the Town of Truckee, Tahoe Forest Hospital, Truckee Tahoe Unified Schools District, critical infrastructure providers, telecom providers and others – of the planned NV Energy PSOM. TDPUD also communicated with customers and the public via the website, e-mails, customer alerts and social media to share this important alert. Everyone started sharing the PSOM alert and taking steps to prepare.
NV Energy continued to track the weather forecast and wildfire conditions and, by late morning on Friday, Sept. 17, the forecast had improved to the point that NV Energy canceled the planned PSOM wildfire safety power outage. NV Energy notified TDPDU who then immediately notified our local Truckee public safety partners, customers and the public of the cancellation.
The early season cold front did impact Truckee, especially overnight Saturday and Sunday morning, and the region did experience high winds and stormy conditions. During the peak of the storm, at 4:20 a.m. on Sunday, NV Energy experienced a transmission outage that impacted over half of TDPUD’s 14,500 customers. This was not a planned PSOM wildfire safety outage but an actual fault on the transmission system. NV Energy was able to quickly mobilize and restore power to TDPUD who was then able to restore power to all customers a little after 8 a.m.
TDPUD understands and is sensitive to the challenges posed by extended power outages. However, the NV Energy PSOM wildfire safety power outages are controlled exclusively by NV Energy with a focus on safety first. TDPUD is asking all customers to visit My Account to sign up for PSOM alerts (www.tdpud.org). Everyone is encouraged to visit TDPUD’s PSOM webpage (www.tdpud.org/psom) to learn about wildfire safety power outages and how to be prepared.
About Truckee Donner PUD:
TDPUD is a public utility district created in 1927 and overseen by a locally elected board of directors. TDPUD is a not-for-profit entity that provides the greater Truckee area with reliable and high-quality water and power services while guiding the community to conserve resources. For more information about TDPUD, call 530-587-3896 or visit tdpud.org.