By Tamar Sarkissian
ANTIOCH — Along the backroads in Contra Costa County, overlooking the San Joaquin River, stands Gateway Generating Station.
The 530 megawatt natural gas power plant was completed and dedicated in 2009, and is the paragon for cleaner generation technology. The first facility of its kind to be built by PG&E in more than two decades, Gateway safely and reliably provides electricity to a half million northern and central California customers.
The award-winning plant is just one way PG&E has supported Antioch’s growth. From charitable community contributions to the refurbishment of local parks, PG&E continuously finds ways to positively impact the community. Recently, the Antioch Chamber of Commerce said “thank you” in a big way — bestowing PG&E with its annual Large Business of the Year award.
“PG&E is a strong community partner that is engaged in issues that directly align with the goals of the Chamber,” said Susie Martinez, a PG&E employee and Antioch resident. “It’s multi-faceted. We’ve invested in infrastructure; not just pipes and wires, but a clean, state-of-the-art power plant. Also, our employees who live and work in the community give back through their own personal contributions and by volunteering their time.”
Last year, PG&E employees and retirees contributed over $30,000 to Antioch nonprofit organizations and schools. In addition, PG&E volunteers dedicated over 600 hours to support schools, events benefitting underserved residents, the environment, and the overall community vitality of Antioch.
“I want to thank PG&E and its employees for always stepping up to help our community when we are in need. From helping to rebuild Antioch City Park after a fire, donations to countless nonprofits, and serving our community with time on boards and school fundraisers, the selfless service of PG&E and its employees is appreciated,” said Sean Wright, mayor of Antioch and former CEO of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce.
Antioch is also home to a major PG&E maintenance and construction yard where it stores materials, houses vehicles, and employs PG&E gas and electric workers. With a payment center and business office in downtown Antioch, there is no shortage of a PG&E presence in the community. In fact, approximately 300 PG&E employees are based in Antioch.
Twenty-one of PG&E’s Antioch employees work at Gateway every day to ensure the safe management of the cutting-edge power plant. But, PG&E earned high praise even before Gateway was completed. The massive undertaking of constructing the facility took 1 million worker hours. In that time, PG&E employed approximately 400 workers, many of whom were Antioch locals — another way PG&E earned Antioch’s approval and proved its commitment to the city.
“I feel proud,” said Vic Baker, PG&E senior manager of the Diablo Division. “We have smart, educated and hard-working people employed at PG&E. They see the bigger picture in ensuring involvement in their communities, and their commitment is being recognized and appreciated. We appreciate the honor and the working relationship with the City of Antioch.”
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.