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T&D World Magazine

PG&E Substation Upgrades Will Benefit Customers, Improve Reliability

PG&E has completed upgrades to an electric substation in Oakland that will increase electric capacity and increase reliability for businesses and residents in the cities of Oakland and Berkeley. PG&E upgraded the substation to keep pace with the region’s business and economic growth, including local projects like the newly completed Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center.

PG&E increased the capacity at the substation from 4 kV to 12 kV, completed a new transformer bank, a seismic retrofit and other major improvements. The project began in May 2010 and was completed earlier this year. (Click here to watch a Currents video from 2012 when the substation project was under way.) With an estimated cost of about $19 million, these improvements will improve electric reliability for thousands of customers in the area, including the new Kaiser Permanente hospital.


“PG&E is very pleased about the completion of this major project that will allow us to meet the future electric needs of Oakland and Berkeley,” said Eunice Barnett Garcia, manager of PG&E’s East Bay division leadership team. “This substation upgrade project is just one of the ways PG&E is committed to delivering safe, reliable and affordable service to our customers.”

The substation, known as Station D, located in the heart of Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood, was first constructed in the early 1900s. In addition to upgrading the substation, PG&E worked with the City of Oakland to improve the aesthetics around the substation in the neighborhood by planting trees, replacing the sidewalk and adding exterior lighting to showcase murals on the substation wall painted by art students from the nearby California College of the Arts.

PG&E customers experienced the fewest service interruptions and shortest duration of power outages in company history last year. Customers have seen a 40 percent improvement in the average duration of service disruptions and a 27 percent improvement in the number of customer interruptions since 2006.

At night, new exterior lighting helps illuminate murals painted by local art students. (Photo by Ken Forward.)

PG&E continues to make significant progress in electric reliability that benefits customers throughout its service area, investing nearly $2.3 billion in electric infrastructure last year. The company is currently upgrading substations throughout its service area with state-of-the-art equipment, which will result in further improvements to electric reliability.

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