PG&E's Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings (EPSS) - A Critical Tool to Mitigate Wildfire Ignition Risks

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UPDATE: Please see NEW virtual WebEx link!!!

IEEE SF PES Chapter 9/25/2023 11:30am - 1:00pm Technical Meeting (Hybrid)

In response to the drought intensified wildfire risk in PG&E’s service territory, PG&E has developed the Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings (EPSS) program as an additional layer of protection to reduce wildfire ignition risk. In 2021, PG&E began to pilot these new safety settings and has since seen a significant reduction in California Public Utilities Commission reportable-ignition. In 2022, the program was expanded to all circuits within the high fire risk areas of the service territory. In this presentation, we will cover the program overview, the technical background, how we continue to improve the effectiveness and highlight the opportunities we are taking to improve reliability and reduce customer impact.


11:30 am - Noon    Lunch & Networking (In-Person)

Noon - 1:00 pm      PG&E EPSS Technical Presentation (Zoom Start at Noon)

In-Person includes optional lunch provided by IEEE PES SF Chapter. Lunch is free for IEEE members & $5 for non-members. Pay on-site.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 25 Sep 2023
  • Time: 11:30 AM to 01:00 PM
  • All times are (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
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  • 505 Van Ness Ave
  • San Francisco, California
  • United States 94102
  • Building: CPUC
  • Room Number: Courtyard Room

  • Contact Event Hosts
  • Starts 29 August 2023 01:00 PM
  • Ends 25 September 2023 01:45 PM
  • All times are (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
  • No Admission Charge


James Tuccillo of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)


With 13 years of utility power systems engineering experience in roles of increasing leadership, James has built a foundation as a leader within distribution operations and engineering. James started his utility experience in nuclear at Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Following this, James joined the distribution control center as a real-time operations engineer helping integrate engineering support into daily operations. James also helped initiate the advanced distribution management system (ADMS) project at PG&E. After many great years in operations, James now manages the distribution engineering team at PG&E which is responsible for capacity and reliability asset planning as well as distribution protection. He currently leads the enhanced powerline safety settings engineering team at PG&E which has become a critical program to mitigate wildfire ignition risk on the distribution system.


James is passionate about building teams and developing the next generation of engineers and leaders that will ensure the future of the electric grid is able to safely deliver energy for customers and meet California’s bold energy goals.  James holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and is a registered Professional Engineer in California.

Dave Canny of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)


Dave Canny is Senior Director of Wildfire Mitigation at Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), which encompasses its two primary wildfire operational mitigation programs: Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings (EPSS) and Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). Prior to this role, Dave led a cross-functional, matrixed team responsible for the initial deployment, innovation, continuous improvement and day-to-day operations of the EPSS Program, which has significantly reduced ignitions on the energy system. Dave has been with PG&E since 2006 and has a long track record of delivering extraordinary outcomes through the collaborative development and implementation of complex programs. Early in his PG&E career, his focus was on the design and implementation of a variety of customer programs - with a focus on partnerships - including those with big box retailers, water agencies, and other program implementers and utilities.

He has extensive emergency response experience, including numerous PSPS events and wildfire responses, major storm response – local emergency centers, base camps, and in PG&E’s Emergency Operations Center – and the 2014 Napa Earthquake. Prior to his current and prior roles in Operations, he established the Customer Care All Hazards team, which provided for consistent support excellence in the Company’s emergency response, and which has served as a blueprint for establishing a similar model for the enterprise. Dave also was the Director of Business Energy Solutions and spent several years as Sr. Manager of PG&E’s North Bay and Sonoma Divisions. He serves on the board of the Center for Volunteer and Non-Profit Leadership, which has an active presence in Sonoma, Marin, Napa, and Solano Counties.

Dave received his Master of Environmental Policy and Management from Duke University and his BA from Dartmouth College. He is also a graduate of the Utility Executive Course at the University of Idaho and holds a certificate of business excellence from UC Berkeley’s Haas Executive Education Program. He lives in Marin County with his wife, two daughters, and dog.