Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is relocating the majority of its gas operations into a large and modern office complex in San Ramon, the utility announced today, as part of PG&E’s drive to ensure public and employee safety and improve operational performance.
PG&E has finalized a facility lease agreement for 250,000 square feet in the Bishop Ranch business community. About 800 people will move to the new location, which is set to include a state-of-the-art gas control center, responsible for monitoring and adjusting gas pressures in PG&E’s vast network of pipelines 24 hours a day.
“Right now, our people are in Walnut Creek, Concord, San Francisco, and Fresno. We’re bringing together teams whose work needs to be coordinated, and Bishop Ranch proved to be the best East Bay location that could accommodate a group of our size in one building,” said Nick Stavropoulos, PG&E’s executive vice president of Gas Operations. “With engineers, emergency dispatchers, system operators, and others working side by side, we expect big gains in communication, efficiency, and team building.”
The 10-year lease includes several options to extend the term for nearly 25 more years, through April 30, 2047. Most employees will move to Bishop Ranch by October 2012.
PG&E’s new gas control center is planned for completion in the second quarter of 2013. The center would have dual functions, overseeing both the large transmission pipelines that deliver gas to populated areas, and PG&E’s network of smaller distribution pipes that bring gas to customers’ homes and businesses. Gas dispatchers would work alongside control center operators, creating what Stavropoulos called “a unified first line of emergency response.”
The relocation project is among numerous PG&E initiatives to improve its gas operations. In the past year and a half, PG&E has hired new leadership, separated its gas and electric businesses, compiled and reviewed pipeline records, and launched a far-reaching pipeline testing and replacement program.
The lease in San Ramon also falls in line with PG&E’s environmental stewardship goals. Bishop Ranch is Gold certified by the U.S. Green Building Council for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
“PG&E and Bishop Ranch share the same long-term vision for a clean energy future in California. We are both committed to sustainability and green building,” said Ed Hagopian, executive vice president of Sunset Development, an investment builder and developer of Bishop Ranch. “PG&E is an ideal tenant for us, and we look forward to collaborating with them as we expand our platform for environmental responsibility.”
Stavropoulos said that PG&E was also drawn to Bishop Ranch because of its highly regarded transportation program and amenities for tenants.
“The PG&E move to Bishop Ranch represents the largest commercial lease transaction in the East Bay this year,” said Sabrina Hughes, executive director of Cushman & Wakefield. “The utility is joining more than 35 other Fortune 500 companies at Bishop Ranch and is now the fourth-largest employer there, after AT&T, Chevron and Bank of the West.” ■