Southern California Edison (SCE) has hired Davies Consulting, LLP, a private consulting firm, to investigate the numerous power outages that have plagued Long Beach this past month, including two that affected thousands of customers last weekend.
“We did bring Davies Consulting on board,” confirmed SCE’s Spokesman David Song of the Chevy Chase, Maryland-based company. At the time of publication, he was unable to answer as to why Davies was hired, but confirmed it was for an additional investigation into the process and cause of the outage.
Davies’ website lists consulting services for energy and utility companies. “We have helped clients adapt in a changing regulatory environment, develop data-driven asset management strategies, and create emergency management plans with great success,” the company’s website states.
City officials saw the move as positive for the city and its residents.
“The City of Long Beach has asked for a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) investigation and welcomes any process that will provide further answers as to the causes and subsequent prevention of power outages in the City,” said Long Beach spokeswoman Kerry Gerot.
State Senator Ricardo Lara and assemblymembers Patrick O’Donnell and Anthony Rendon joined the city in calling for an independent investigation last month.
“This incident has left us with a lot of questions,” said Lara last month in a press statement. “What caused these outages, were they preventable, was the utility prepared to respond, has the problem been addressed, is it likely to happen again? Our community deserves answers.”
In addition to two power outages in July that resulted in thousands without power in the downtown core, with the first lasting for four days, two outages occurred last weekend that also affected thousands.
Song said last weekend’s outages were most likely due to the heat, and emphasized that they were not in any connected with the downtown power outages.
“The outages occurred on circuits outside of the [downtown] network,” said Song. He said when temperatures soar for five or more days, like last weekend, air conditioners are in demand even at night, when transformers usually have the chance to cool off.
“When that’s not happening, equipment can fail, unfortunately,” said Song. “It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen, across Southern California Edison’s service area.”
For more information on power outage resources and the claim filing process, state and local elected officials will be hosting a town hall meeting at Cesar Chavez Park on Saturday, August 22 from 10:30AM to 12:30PM, in the wake of recent power outages, to provide testimony and respond to community concerns, Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell’s office announced Thursday.