LEMOORE — Hardhats and orange safety vests were mandatory Thursday when Pacific Gas and Electric Company held a groundbreaking for a new 13,000 square-foot service center in Lemoore.
PG&E’s project team and employees, along with the Lemoore Chamber of Commerce and Lemoore City officials grabbed shovels to symbolically break ground at the site of the project in Lemoore’s Industrial Park.
The Lemoore Service Center project combines the approximately 30 crew and support personnel and resources currently deployed in Lemoore and Coalinga to the new single site on Enterprise Drive.
The 15-acre site will include an approximately 13,000 square foot combined operations building/warehouse building along with about 10 acres of yard space for company vehicles and critical materials storage.
Kristen Doud, PG&E public affairs representative, said the project was important to the company because they are “certain [it] will help us deliver on our commitment to providing safe and reliable power to our customers.”
Jack Richardson, senior project manager, said the new 13,000 square-foot PG&E building will initially house 30 employees before expanding to around 100 employees. He said the site leaves expansion room for fleet maintenance, a fueling station and a washing station in the future.
Richardson said the building will be energy efficient and with an elegant design, and the entire site will have enough room for trucks to do what they need to do without blocking the street.
“I hope we’re setting a standard for the rest of the business park,” Richardson said.
PG&E spokesman Denny Boyles said there were two driving factors that led to the building of a new service center. One factor was the company outgrew its existing facility in Lemoore, and the other factor was that the potential growth was greater in Kings County, as opposed to Coalinga.
Consolidating the two existing facilities will help PG&E respond more efficiently in the area of Kings County forecasted to see the most growth in the coming decades.
Lemoore City Councilman Dave Brown said he thinks the new service center will be great for the city, and he is looking forward to any future expansion at the site.
Brown said because the new center will be centrally located, it will not only benefit the cities of Lemoore and Hanford, but the whole Valley. The center is located near both Highway 198 and Highway 41 and Brown believes response times and performance will be optimal.
“The city of Lemoore has always valued its relationship with PG&E, as we both share the same philosophy, and that is to ensure the well-being of the people of Lemoore by maintaining a safe, efficient operating utility infrastructure,” Brown said.
Scott Rose, Central Valley region PG&E director, said the idea of relocating the Lemoore service center started almost three years ago. He said the company really looked at where investment should be placed and why, and Lemoore rose to the top of the list.
“Now that we’re here, we’re real excited about it,” Rose said.
Amy Ward, interim CEO of the Lemoore Chamber of Commerce, said PG&E has been a member of the chamber since 1995. She said the chamber is excited to continue its partnership with the company in years to come.
“We appreciate the support,” Ward said. “We appreciate that [PG&E] values the local community and the chamber as a whole.
The project is slated to be complete by mid-2018.