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Pacific Gas and Electric Opens $28.5 Million Electric Distribution Control Center In Fresno, California

10/29/2014
Pacific Gas and Electric Company unveiled its new, state-of-the-art, $28.5 million electric distribution control center in Fresno, California. The Fresno facility is the first of three new control centers, with others to be situated in Concord and Rocklin, that will manage PG&E's more than the 140,000 miles of electric distribution system.

The new distribution control center is just one of many infrastructure investments in Fresno and the Central Valley in recent years. In fact, PG&E is set to invest approximately $940 million in the region between 2012 and 2016. The new, 24,000-square-foot, operations center will enhance electric reliability and resiliency for PG&E customers throughout the Central Valley and will utilize current and future Smart Grid technologies. Electric operators from the area also played a key role in helping design the new electric grid nerve center.

"Every day, we work to provide our customers with energy that is safe, reliable, affordable and clean," said Geisha Williams, Executive Vice President of Electric Operations, who inaugurated the new facility. "This state-of-the-art facility, which integrates a wide range of advanced technologies under one roof, gives our grid operators unprecedented visibility into our electric system, which will allow them to help limit outages and restore service to our customers as quickly and effectively as possible."

"The City of Fresno appreciates the $28.5 million dollar investment in our community, and the 250 construction jobs created during the building and construction phase of this project," said Steve Brandau, Fresno City Council President.

The new control center has been equipped with systems that support today's current Smart Grid technology, but will also support future upgrades as well. A new Distribution Management System incorporates advanced electronic mapping and SmartMeter data to help operators pinpoint the exact location of an outage. These Smart Switches isolate outages and help reroute the flow of electricity to minimize the number of customers affected by an outage and restore others more quickly.

Constructed with redundant data feeds, the new facility will provide emergency back-up capabilities to enhance PG&E's disaster resiliency capability. Additionally, the center has the flexibility to shift operations to other new regional control centers, in Concord and Rocklin, if support is needed in the event of a major storm or natural disaster.

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