Over the past 10 years, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has invested $1.5 billion on wildfire safety initiatives, including building an innovative weather network and creating an in-house meteorology program consisting of five full-time meteorologists. The work of SDG&E’s meteorologists was recently featured in a new video released by the U.S. Chamber Global Energy Institute.
“Really the main driver behind this is public safety, and operating the grid with the best information we possibly have,” said Brian D’Agostino, SDG&E’s director of fire science and climate adaptation, who is featured in the video. “We need to understand what the weather is doing in every canyon, every ridgetop all across the backcountry to really bring that level of customer safety and customer service.”
Using Innovation to Improve Customer Safety
With the help of supercomputers, SDG&E’s meteorology team is able to detect patterns and garner insights from 10 years’ worth of weather data. This has enabled them to identify areas in the San Diego region that are most prone to extreme winds and fire danger. In those high-risk areas, SDG&E has installed additional equipment so that they can isolate certain circuits and still continue to provide power to the rest of the region without sacrificing safety.