PG&E Egbert Switching Station
An expansion of the city’s infrastructure telegraphs the eclectic rhythms of a changing neighborhood.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company [PG&E] is undertaking a major electrical infrastructure project designed to strengthen the resiliency and reliability of the electric transmission system serving San Francisco. Electric customers in San Francisco currently rely on power supplied through PG&E’s Martin Substation in Daly City and Trans Bay Cable’s underwater cable. This new 230,000-volt switching station, with connections to existing underground transmission lines, will provide a critical backup system in the event of a lengthy service interruption at the Martin Substation.
Architecturally the proposed switching station seeks to be a good neighbor, fitting in with a longstanding industrial district and its growing community of residents. The building is direct and efficient, a simple shed sheathed in light-weight, metal-mesh panels. It is residential in scale yet assumes a civic presence. This simplicity belies the enormity of the project: the team used 3-D modeling to organize the large-scale components, along with their complex technical requirements, within and beneath the building. And like PG&E’s monumental substations from the last century, this work of infrastructure strives to embellish the urban landscape.