The City of Palo Alto Utilities supplies electricity and natural gas to all residents and businesses in Palo Alto. However, we have to transport these commodities from where they originate to our town via pipelines and electric lines owned by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). This web page provides updates on various PG&E projects related to those transport pipelines and electric lines in Palo Alto.
Check back often! Changes occur frequently and this website will be updated as they happen.
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CURRENT PG&E PROJECTS IN OR NEAR PALO ALTO:
April 2015 - As part of ongoing work on Line 101, PG&E will be releasing natural gas at their station near East Bayshore Road and Embarcadero in Palo Alto. This work will be undertaken on April 6, 7, and 9 starting around 7:00 pm each night. This is part of PG&E's routine safety inspection of the gas pipeline, during which they must first empty the pipeline of gas before performing the inspection. As a result, customers may smell gas during venting, but in this case, there are no impacts to gas service. For information on this project, please contact PG&E at pge.com/gas or (800) 743-5000.
For information on City of Palo Alto Utilities projects, please view our cityofpaloalto.org/utilityprojects webpage or contact the Utilities Communications Manager at email@example.com or (650) 329-2417.
FINISHED WITHIN THE LAST YEAR:
February 2015 - Gas venting around PG&E's Junipero and Arastradero Station near Miranda Avenue (Stanford Research Park) as well as in East Palo Alto near Geng Road, Jasmine Way and Oconnor Street. This is part of PG&E's routine safety inspection of the gas pipeline, during which they must first empty the pipeline of gas before performing the inspection. As a result, customers may smell gas during venting, but in this case, there are no impacts to gas service. For information on this project, please contact PG&E at pge.com/gas or (888) 743-7431.
Daytime inspections using the "PIG' launching station along Hwy 101-- along East Bayshore and Embarcadero from mid-September to the beginning of November.
Minor excavation work--In June 2014, small excavations around the gas pipeline were conducted at night on Page Mill Road, Alma and California Ave.
PIG Launching Station on E. Bayshore--work began in summer 2013 and in March 2014, the PIG was launched! The newly built sending/receiving station for internal inspection devices (PIGs) for PG&E transmission pipeline #101 has now been activated.
Electric Transmission Tower project--this project raised the height of two electric transmission towers along San Francisquito Creek, near the Golf Course, and moved one tower to allow widening of the creek to mitigate flooding. Project was finished in late 2013.
Survey of Gas Pipelines (#101, 109 & 132)--PG&E conducted an "above-ground" survey along the paths of all three pipelines to be sure there were no structures, trees or other obstructions on top of the pipelines. Survey was completed in late November 2013.
Gas Transmission Line #101 (runs near East Bayshore Drive, next to Highway 101)
PIG Launching Facility--Finished March 2014.
Pipeline Casing Inspection--Finished October 2012. Excavation conducted to allow inspection of pipeline casing in a commercial parking lot area off Geng Road (near Embarcadero). Corrosion Inspection---Finished September 2012. This excavation at the intersection of Embarcadero and E. Bayshore Road was conducted to allow a pipeline corrosion inspection.
Gas Transmission Line #132 (runs in zig-zag fashion from Middlefield to Alma to Page Mill Road and beyond).
Hydrotest--Finished Fall 2011.
Smart PIG Valve Project--Finished July 2013. Excavation near 2500 block of Alma Ave. to access valves. Repaving finished late August 2013.
Impacts to Palo Alto
Everyone in Palo Alto extends special THANKS to those impacted by any PG&E pipeline-related construction projects. Despite any inconveniences, we all can appreciate the value of verifying the safety of these pipelines!
PG&E Transmission Pipeline Overview (information supplied by PG&E)
PG&E has 3 main transmission pipelines that traverse the City of Palo Alto. They are referenced as #101, #109 and #132. The #132 pipeline is the one involved in the San Bruno incident and is the only one of the three pipelines required to be tested in PG&E's current hydrostatic testing project.
PG&E’s line #132 Running roughly 55 miles long and stretching from Milpitas to South San Francisco, Pipeline #132 is only one of many transmission pipelines involved in PG&E’s statewide testing. (See testing history at the bottom of this page). Per agreement with the CPUC, PG&E assignment was to hydrostatically test a total of approximately 160 miles of transmission pipeline statewide. The criteria for selecting the portions to be tested were the age of the pipelines and the absence of good records regarding previous testing.
PG&E’s line #109 The Palo Alto portion of this pipeline runs along Middlefield Rd from Mountain View and then turns up East Charleston/Arastradero Road, continuing north along the Foothill Expressway. Most of this pipeline has been replaced in recent years.
PG&E’s line #101 This pipeline runs roughly parallel to Highway 101. All Palo Alto portions of this pipeline have been replaced since the requirement for hydrostatic testing was put in place and there are validated records of this pipeline passing the hydrostatic test. In order to perform ongoing corrosion tests, PG&E excavated around a portion of this pipeline (near Embarcadero Road and East Bayshore) during summer 2012.
PG&E installed a permanent "in the pipeline inspection device" (called a PIG) launching station adjacent to East Bayshore Road that will allow regular, ongoing inspections of pipeline #101.
CONTACT INFO FOR MORE DETAILS
General concerns or queries can be directed to the City of Palo Alto Utilities Communications Manager by calling (650) 329-2417 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Public and media calls about specific timing and details should be directed to PG&E at the numbers below.
PG&E Customer Care gas specialist representatives at 1-888-743-7431, between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
Or call 1-800-743-5000 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Spanish: Para ayuda en español por favor llame al 1-800-660-6789. Chinese: 1-800-893-9555. Tagalog: 1-888-743-7431. Vietnamese: 1-800-298-8438.
Gas Pipeline #132 HYDROSTATIC TESTING HISTORY in Palo Alto (2011) (based on data provided to Utilities staff by PG&E)
September 10: Testing of the Middlefield to Alma section of the pipeline was successfully completed and this pipeline section was restored to full service.
October 30: Hydrotest of the first of two portions of the T-30 (Page Mill Road) pipeline segment was successfully completed.
November 3-14: Small (1 millimeter) leak found in the second portion of the T-30 pipeline segment at Page Mill Road, south of Hanover. The entire segment was hydrotested once again and passed without incident.
November 18-20: T-30 pipeline was restored to normal operation.
December through February 2012: PG&E conducted general clean up and restoration of all the areas of activity (Alma Street, Page Mill Road, Park Avenue). PG&E conducted a verification dig in early February at Alma and Oregon to inspect the pipeline casing, which is not part of the pipeline itself.