PG&E announced it will celebrate the launch of its new Gas Control Center online at Bishop Ranch on Friday, Dec 6, in San Ramon. The state of the art gas control center will monitor 7,000 miles of pipeline and 42,000 of distribution pipeline. The control room features a 90-ft-long video wall that provides key data from across PG&Es service area.
The gas control center enables PG&E to move more quickly to assess and resolve problems. System operators for both the transmission and distribution gas system are located in one large room. At their work stations, several monitors provide details of specific parts of PG&E’s gas system. In front of them is a 90-foot-long video wall that provides key data from across the service area.
Besides the video wall, the gas control center is chock full of innovative elements, such as a smart board that allows real-time communication with personnel in the field and a simulator room. “The smart board is tool we use to really enhance the collaboration with personnel in the field, explained Mel Christopher, PG&E’s senior director of gas system operations.”So whether they’re operating valves in response to an emergency or if they’re doing a clearance or doing work on the system we’re able to collaborate with them,” he said.
“We designed the Gas Control Center, including our training, from an emergency response perspective, so this room is very important to us,” Christoher said. “This is a room where we get to train our employees to see things through the SCADA system, through the control center that hopefully they’ll never see in the other control center,” he said.
Gas-system operators have specific data on monitors at their workstations and will rely on the 90-foot video wall for situational awareness.
Considering what has come together at the Gas Control Center, Christopher sees an obvious parallel.
“Air traffic controllers know where the airplanes are at any point in time. They’re monitoring it. They’re taking actions to make sure that everything is safe. We do the same thing. Pilots go through simulator training so they can see things in a simulated environment they hope they never see anywhere else. We’re doing the same thing here. We can put employees through a simulated event, a simulated emergency, or a line break, so that they have a sense of what it would look like on the SCADA system. So if it ever happens in real time in the gas control center it’s not the first time they’ve seen it.”