With Opening of New Rocklin Facility, PG&E Completes Move to Industry-Leading, High-Tech Electric Distribution Control Centers

ROCKLIN, Calif.--()--With the opening of a third electric distribution center today, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has completed a successful, multi-year project that has transformed how the company monitors and operates its electric grid.

“PG&E’s investments in Rocklin and our other new distribution control centers will allow us to make progress in two areas we know our customers care about: improving reliability and integrating higher levels of clean energy on our grid”

Customer benefits include enhanced reliability, quicker response to outages and emergencies such as natural disasters, and increased capabilities to continue adding clean, renewable power sources such as solar and wind.

The facility is the third of three new industry leading control centers – other locations are in Fresno and Concord – that will manage PG&E's more than the 140,000 miles of electric distribution lines that serve nearly 16 million Californians. The new, 50,000 square-foot operations center will enhance electric reliability and resiliency for PG&E customers throughout Northern California by utilizing current and future Smart Grid technologies.

A dedication event was held earlier today at the new center with local civic leaders, PG&E executives and employees.

“PG&E’s investments in Rocklin and our other new distribution control centers will allow us to make progress in two areas we know our customers care about: improving reliability and integrating higher levels of clean energy on our grid,” said Geisha Williams, president, PG&E Electric.

“Grid operators are the quarterbacks of our system, and these new control centers give them real-time insight into the health of the electric grid. Using new technologies such as SmartMeter™ advanced features, our operators in these centers can react rapidly to changing conditions, dispatch the closest field resources and get the lights back on for our customers,” said Barry Anderson, PG&E vice president of emergency preparedness and operations.

The new distribution control center is just one of many infrastructure investments in Placer County and Northern California. PG&E invested more than $35 million last year in the electrical infrastructure that serves Placer County and more than $2.7 billion system-wide. The new facility will add to the $8.5 million that PG&E pays in property taxes to Placer County each year.

Smart Grid Technology

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. New technology incorporates advanced electronic mapping of PG&E’s electric distribution grid and SmartMeter data to help operators pinpoint the exact location of an outage, which will expedite restoration efforts.

Electric operators also played a key role in helping design the new nerve center of the electric grid, helping to design the work stations and technology that they will be utilizing to control the grid every day.

“Self-Healing” Grid Technology

Operators also have the ability to remotely control equipment and work with automated "self-healing" technology that has been installed on electric circuits throughout Northern California. These Smart Switches automatically isolate outages and help reroute the flow of electricity to minimize the number of customers affected by an outage and restore others within minutes. To date, this self-healing technology has helped avoid more than 100 million customer outage minutes and saved more than 1 million customers from a sustained outage.

Enhanced Natural Disaster and Storm Resiliency

This facility will further enhance PG&E’s disaster resiliency capability. The control center is constructed with redundant data and power feeds to assure a high degree of reliability. Additionally, the center has the flexibility to shift operations through seamless technology to the two other regional control centers if support is needed in the event of a major storm or natural disaster.

PG&E has delivered record electric reliability to its customers for seven straight years, consistently reducing the average duration of power outages. Investments in the grid, including the deployment of Smart Grid technology, played a key role in delivering this performance.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.



Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Joe Molica, 415-973-5930

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