Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) is planning to turn off power due to the high winds, plunging California into yet another deliberate blackout, angering the ratepayers. 

In a statement released, PG&E said that they may turn off power lines starting late Wednesday evening. The blackouts which would likely exist for more than 48 hours will affect more than 184,000 people in 15 counties in the Sierra Foothills and the North Bay.

The power cuts will start around 2 p.m. on Wednesday with Sierra Foothills the first to experience the blackout. In the next hour, parts of Napa, Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino Counties would experience a power outage. By Thursday 1 a.m. customers in parts of San Mateo and Kern Counties would be experiencing the blackout too.

The blackout, the second this month, drew angry reactions from the customers. 

"What PG&E is supposed to be doing is taking the billions of dollars we have been giving them and trimming the trees and taking care of the grid so we don't have to do shutoffs in the first place," a disgruntled customerMark Toney, executive director of a San Francisco-based consumer advocacy organization, told ABC7

Last week, top executives from PG&E defended the blackouts earlier this month that affected 700,000 people in front of the California Public Utilities Commission. President and CEO Bill Johnson talked about the long term plan, where it would take 10 years to eliminate these power cuts. 

Gavin Newsom, the Governor of California, blasted the power company’s long term plan.

"Ten years of this cannot happen, will not happen, we are going to aggressively make sure of that... and we are still waiting for that rebate that is owned to millions of people in this state," Newsom said.

PG&E had initially said that more than 200,000 people would be affected by the blackouts, however, the weather models, that are being monitored by the power company's emergency operations center, have changed resulting in the number of the affected to 184,000. 

Based on the forecasts, the final notifications of the power cut will be out by noon on Wednesday. 

More than 100 instances of serious damages to PG&E’s transmission lines due to heavy winds were recorded during the public safety power shutoff (PSPS) earlier this month.

"The sole purpose of PSPS is to significantly reduce catastrophic wildfire risk to our customers and communities. We know that sustained winds above 45 mph are known to cause damage to the lower-voltage distribution system and winds above 50 mph are known to cause damage to higher-voltage transmission equipment," PG&E officials said in a statement.

Shares in energy firms have plummeted on the prospect of excess capacity that could be caused by the closure of the smelter Shares in energy firms have plummeted on the prospect of excess capacity that could be caused by the closure of the smelter Photo: AFP / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS