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Potrero Power Plant

Site Overview

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The Former Potrero Power Plant Site is located in San Francisco's Central Waterfront area at 1201 Illinois Street. It is approximately 34 acres in size and has been used for industrial activities since the mid-1800s. Some of the historic uses on and near the site included ship building and repair, foundries, sugar refining, and barrel manufacturing.

PG&E and its predecessors operated an MGP in the northeastern portion of the site from the 1870s to 1930. In the mid-1800s and early 1900s, before natural gas was available as an energy source, more than 1,500 MGPs were located in cities and towns across the country. MGPs would use coal and/or oil to produce gas for lighting, heating and cooking. With the arrival of natural gas in the 1930s, most of the manufactured gas plant sites in California were no longer needed and were closed.

Additionally, a power plant, commonly referred to as the Potrero Power Plant, was built around 1910, and upgraded and expanded in the 1960s. PG&E sold the power plant property to Southern Company (subsequently, Mirant Corp., then GenOn and now NRG Potrero, LLC) in 1999, while retaining portions of the site for such uses as an electrical switch yard and storage. The existing power plant was retired in March 2011 following the completion of the Trans Bay Cable project, which allowed additional power to be imported from Pittsburg across the Bay into San Francisco.

While PG&E no longer owns the Potrero Power Plant, we are taking responsibility for the possible impact of our historical operations. Specifically, we are addressing potential impacts to soil, groundwater, surface water and sediments.

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