PG&E broke ground Friday on a new distribution grid control center in Concord that is expected to improve electric reliability and provide jobs in the area.
The 37,000-square-foot electric grid distribution control center, set to be completed in 2014, is one of three PG&E is building to control its 141,000- mile electric distribution system, utility officials said Friday.
It will use smart grid technology to provide operators with real-time information on the electric system, pinpoint the geographical location of outages and reroute the flow of electricity during outages to
minimize the number of customers affected.
In addition, it will provide additional protection against natural disasters by adding high seismic protection, redundant data feeds and emergency back-ups to the system, officials said.
"Thanks to investments to upgrade and modernize the electric grid, PG&E delivered our best service reliability performance ever in the first quarter of 2013, and we're committed to getting even better," said Geisha
Williams, PG&E's executive vice president of electric operations.
"Our goal is fewer outages and faster restoration, and this new facility will help us expedite our response times for power outages and emergency situations so we can provide customers with the safest and most
reliable electric service possible," Williams said.
The center will also provide around 90 jobs in Concord, plus around 250 construction jobs.
"The jobs associated with this project are welcome news and will certainly contribute positively to Concord's local economy," said Concord Mayor Dan Helix. "PG&E is one of Concord's major employers and, along with the more than 8,000 businesses located in Concord, it contributes to Concord's reputation as the job center of Contra Costa County."