Pacific Gas and Electric Company hosted a tour of its new gas operations headquarters in Bishop Ranch on Tuesday, showing off the construction site of its state-of-the-art gas control center. When completed, the facility will house more than 1,600 employees who previously worked in San Francisco, Concord, Walnut Creek, Fresno and other locations.
PG&E will occupy two and a half floors of a five story building while approximately electric transmission operations and gas staff will occupy the second, third and fourth floors. Mel Christopher, senior director of gas system operations Christopher gave a tour of the 48,000 square foot fifth floor that will house the gas control center by mid-2013. Crews have started working outside the building to put in on-site generators and fiber-optic lines
PG&E determined that its electric transmissions operations would be enhanced by relocating from the aging building at 1919 Webster Street in Oakland to a more modern and larger office. Bishop Ranch will house electric transmission line and substation engineering and design, system protection, system automation, project management and asset strategy functions.
Control rooms for PG&E's gas transmission system and its 6,000 miles of pipes, the gas distribution system and its 42,000 miles of smaller pipes will also be located be co-located at the facility. The center will be responsible for monitoring PG&E's network of gas distribution and transmission pipelines 24 hours a day and will have emergency-dispatch personnel.
"So whether it's a phone call coming in from a customer that they smell gas, or if it's information coming in from a control center about changes in pressure or flow, all that information will come into one location," Christopher said.
Officials said the new facility and consolidate operations will improve PG&E's chances of preventing a repeat of the San Bruno natural gas explosion that killed eight in 2010.
"The expansion of PG&E's footprint at Bishop Ranch further reinforces its continuous improvement effort to ensure public and staff safety and improve reliability and operational performance," a release stated.