PG&E fined after substation breach

PG&E was issued a $50,000 citation by the California Public Utilities Commission Monday for failing to prevent a security breach at a substation near San Jose last year.

The Metcalf substation was burglarized sometime between the night of Aug. 26, 2014 and early morning of Aug. 27, 2014, CPUC officials said.

The substation is located at 150 Metcalf Road off of U.S. Highway 101 near the city border with Santa Clara County.

Burglars entered the substation at various points along a fence and took construction equipment worth more than $40,000 from an operations yard and an adjacent construction staging yard, according to the CPUC.

The break-in and burglary was discovered by the utility during the morning hours of Aug. 27, 2014,

PG&E security workers stated they did not know about theft despite alarms that sounded during the break-in, CPUC officials said.

There had previously been a shooting at the substation in April 2013, so the the San Francisco-based utility company had time to heighten security at the site before the August 2014 incident, CPUC officials said.

The shooting damaged tanks holding oil used to power the machines, according to PG&E.

The shots spilled 52,000 gallons of oil and put 17 of 23 transformers out of commission, according to PG&E.

A CPUC Safety and Enforcement Division investigation showed the utility company violated its code and did not provide enough training for on-site personnel and security management, CPUC officials said.

PG&E must respond to the citation by Sept. 30 at 5 p.m.