Pacific Gas & Electric

As Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) faces a large volume of work requests to process for the clearing of vegetation around transmission structures, Davey Resource Group, Inc. (DRG) steps in to help provide vegetation consultation.

The Challenge

Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E’s) Wildfire Safety Inspection Program, which was implemented as a precautionary measure to reduce wildfire risk, is contending with a substantial amount of cage clearing. This is vegetation growth around transmission structures, which requires a great deal of managerial work to properly maintain. The sheer volume of work requests, approximately 15,000 in one planner group, requires some extra assistance.

The Solution

Davey Resource Group, Inc. (DRG) brings a comprehensive work process to support PG&E’s wildfire mitigation efforts, which includes back office research, inspections, and request closures.

Preliminary research aids in maintaining safety and compliance during the inspections and helps to preempt customer concerns when assessing structures on their property. PG&E’s GIS application was used to help the process with tasks like determining owners to be notified and identifying historic access routes. Marking vegetation using GIS also allowed for easier identification by tree crews.

Once the initial research is complete, DRG inspectors offer vegetation consultation, utilizing their extensive knowledge of environmental issues to prescribe removal, pruning, and herbicide application. Davey employees’ expert understanding of the various factors that contribute to prescribing vegetation management work is one of the most valuable assets they bring to the Wildfire Safety Inspection Program.

Additional steps may be necessary depending on the results of the research and inspection findings. This potential work includes acquiring permits, having customers sign notice to work (NTW) forms, sending requests for environmental review, or other preparatory work. Once all prep work is completed, tree crews are hired to complete the work prescribed. Photos of the structures are sent to DRG to ensure they have been cleared to standard, and then finally sent to PG&E for closure.

DRG’s Rapid Response Team, a recent addition, was instituted to aid in storm response and offer supplemental aid to clients when there are no crises to address. They have proved valuable for this initiative, as some members were able to contribute their efforts to help keep this program on track.

The Results

DRG continues to work with PG&E on this ongoing task. Keeping pace with the work requests is challenging, but with the partnership from the team at DRG, PG&E plans to get all of them filtered and completed on schedule.

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