Pacific Gas and Electric Co. unveiled its $40 million electric distribution control center in Concord.
The facility is the second of three new control centers — other locations are in Fresno and Rocklin — that will manage PG&E's more than the 140,000 miles of electric distribution lines that serve nearly 16 million Californians.
The new, 38,000-square-foot, operations center will enhance electric reliability and resiliency for PG&E customers throughout the Bay Area and Central Coast by utilizing current and future smart grid technologies.
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 smart meter data to help operators pinpoint the exact location of an outage.
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.
Operators also have the ability to remotely control equipment and work with automated "self-healing" technology that has been installed on electric circuits throughout the Bay Area. 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 within minutes.
Constructed to a high seismic standard with redundant data and power feeds, the new facility will further enhance PG&E’s disaster resiliency capability. Additionally, the center has the flexibility to shift operations to the two other regional control centers if support is needed in the event of a major storm or natural disaster.