June, 15 | 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Track 1A | Energy Policy in the Pacific Northwest

James Dodenhoff

Silent Running LLC | Principal

Presentation Title:

Public Safety Power Shut-Offs (PSPS’s): Risk Mitigation for Who and What?


In the past twenty years, wildfires have emerged as one of the most destructive and deadly forces impacting energy resiliency in the Pacific Northwest, California, Rocky Mountain States, and Southwest. One policy tool that has been deployed is the implementation of Public Safety Power Shut-offs (PSPS’s).

This presentation will explore the stated rationale for the implementation of PSPS’s in the Western U.S. PSPS implementation data showing location, timing, and duration of these planned outages will be analyzed. This analysis----and the metrics policy makers apply to PSPS implementation----will be used to understand whether PSPS implementation is achieving intended policy outcomes. Unintended consequences of PSPS’s will also be evaluated such as the impact on reliability, introduction of additional risks, and creation of market push towards distributed energy. Recommendations will be provided to improve and enhance PSPS programs, as appropriate, and to better frame them within the broader context of energy resiliency. Conclusions will be drawn whether PSPS's are mitigating safety risks and liability or simply creating greater complexity and variability.


Drawing from over 30 years in successful experience in the energy and environmental services industry, Jim’s firm, Silent Running Energy, guides clients through the most recent regulatory guidelines and technology developments to provide optimal sustainability and energy solutions. He focuses upon renewable energy project development, energy efficiency program management, and equity in clean energy programs. Jim has an M.B.A in Strategy/Finance from UCLA and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Energy Studies/Mechanical Engineering from Brown University.

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