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PG&E Wants to Spend $10.5 Billion to Bury Lines to Stop Fires

  • PG&E discloses cost details of burying lines for first time
  • California utility giant working to reduce wildfire risk
PG&E workers on a job site in San Francisco, earlier in February.

PG&E workers on a job site in San Francisco, earlier in February.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

PG&E Corp. estimates it will cost about $10.5 billion to bury nearly 3,600 miles (5,794 kilometers) of power lines over the next five years as part of an ambitious project to prevent equipment from sparking catastrophic wildfires. 

The California utility giant said Friday it aims to speed up its pace of putting lines underground, with a target of at least 175 miles this year at a cost of $3.75 million per mile, or about $656 million, according to a regulatory filing made Friday with the state. PG&E plans to ratchet up that annual pace to a goal of burying 1,200 miles in 2026 at a reduced cost per mile, the filing said.