The Latest News from Fresno

By Brian Bullock Maintenance outages for power generation facilities are always a team effort, but for the folks at PG&E’s Helms Pumped Storage Facility, a critical hydro-electric facility in the Sierra Nevada, the latest outages proved to be international efforts, as well. Helms, which marked its 30th anniversary last year, through the use of two reservoirs and three hydro-pump generators, can produce a total of 1,212 megawatts of electricity — enough to power the cities of Fresno and Oakland. And it can go from idle to full power. MORE

FRESNO — This week, students in Fresno State’s construction management program learned how a phone call to 811 can save a life for anyone planning a project that requires digging. The students were instructed how the free service works but most important the dangers of not making the call. Anyone planning a digging project should know what’s underground. The answer is to call 811 first. “Take the minute to double and triple check because it can save someone’s life,” Fresno gas utility worker Rodrigo Marquez said of the estimated. MORE

SAN FRANCISCO — PG&E today (Feb. 3) announced that it delivered record electric reliability to its customers for the sixth straight year. Since 2009, the utility has consistently reduced the average duration of power outages. Additionally, customers experienced the fewest number of outages in company history in 2014. “We know how important reliable service is to our communities, our economy and our quality of life. This is why PG&E has been making substantial investments to improve the reliability of our service. Our record-setting numbers over the past six. MORE

By the end of 2014, PG&E will have replaced all 2,243 miles of its cast iron gas distribution pipe — which can be prone to leaks — with new, modern materials. This announcement makes PG&E one of the first utilities of comparable size and age to complete such an action. The company, which already ranks in the top 10 percent nationally in maintaining a small number of minor leaks in its backlog, also committed to achieving a near-zero backlog by the end of the year. These efforts are. MORE

PG&E is ranked as a top utility for delivering clean electricity to its customers and implementing effective energy efficiency programs, according to a report released today (July 24) by Ceres, a leading environmental sustainability advocacy organization. Clean-tech sector research and advisory firm Clean Edge co-produced the report. In a study that examines the deployment of clean energy by 32 investor-owned electric utility companies in 2012, PG&E ranked first in cumulative annual energy efficiency savings, a reflection of the company’s long history and commitment to helping customers use less. MORE

By Lynsey Paulo FRESNO – PG&E has chosen a name for a new high voltage transmission line project proposed for the greater Fresno area: Central Valley Power Connect.  “The Central Valley Power Connect project will help keep the lights on for homes and businesses in one of the state’s most rapidly growing regions by increasing the local electric capacity,” said Steve Metague, PG&E’s senior director of transmission project development. “Without significant infrastructure upgrades in the Central Valley, electric demand likely will exceed capacity of the current transmission system by. MORE

By Denny Boyles FRESNO – It turns out bumper stickers don’t have to be “stuck” to a car to be effective. At a safe digging awareness rally here today (April 16), 100 of the stickers were wrapped around trees that were given away to anyone willing to make a pledge to call 811 before they dig. It’s a pledge that can save money, and lives. “Coming up as a young gas worker I responded to many situations where our customers dug into gas lines because they didn’t take the. MORE

By Tracy Correa BAKERSFIELD – With a backdrop that included blue and yellow balloons, hundreds of teens and community leaders celebrated the kickoff today (April 17) of PG&E’s Summer Jobs Program in Kern County. This year’s local program – back for a second year — will provide career-building skills and training to 200 young people and paid summer jobs to 55 of them. The program is a partnership between PG&E and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County. The utility is funding the program – including the payroll for those. MORE

FRESNO – About 80 high school students took part in hands-on activities and learned about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at the first-ever STEM Summit last week. The event, held at Bill Smilie Aviation Center at Sierra Sky Park in Fresno on Wednesday (April 2), was organized by Junior Achievement, the State Center Consortium and supported with a $5,000 grant from PG&E. It was attended by students from Fresno Unified, Madera Unified and Kings Canyon Unified (in Fresno and Madera counties) school districts. During the event, students took part in. MORE

By Denny Boyles FRESNO – Mike Moreno has flown several times over the past month, but has yet to step foot inside the aircraft that ferries him and a co-worker to their unique job site. Moreno, a PG&E apprentice lineman from Fresno, has instead spent time dangling below a helicopter as it leaps into the air to carry him and lineman Matt Pacini up from the ground to the top of 150-foot tall high-voltage transmission towers south of Fresno. The pair, and other members of the Fresno transmission general. MORE