Gas & Electricity II

Created from sources such as coal, gas, and water the role of the power plant is to transform these resources and distribute electricity.  Once it became reliable and inexpensive electricity has served as the standard currency of the energy economy.


Designed by different architects, many of the local projects held by the Archives are designs for the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). The San Francisco Gas & Electric Company and the California Gas & Electric Corporation merged to form PG&E on October 10, 1905. The consolidation provided one with access to the large San Francisco market and a base for further financing, while the other was able to reinforce its electric system, which until then had been powered entirely by steam-operated generating plants, and could not compete with lower cost hydroelectric power.  Today PG&E is the largest private owner of hydroelectric facilities in the United States. The Utility’s hydroelectric system consists of 174 dams, 110 generating units at 68 powerhouses, 99 reservoirs, 56 diversions, 172 miles of canals, 43 miles of flumes, 130 miles of tunnels, 54 miles of pipe and 5 miles of natural waterways. 1

1.     PG&E Corporation (February 16, 2012). 10-K Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2011. p. 22. Retrieved July 14, 2012.