SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) this month honored Margaret Mooney, one of the utility’s pioneering employees, for her decades of innovative work that still benefits customers.
As part of its annual Employee Champions Awards ceremony, where workers who have made their marks for public and employee safety, community service, diversity and inclusion and preserving the environment are recognized, PG&E presented the first Margaret Mooney Award for Innovation.
Mooney worked for PG&E from 1966 to 1994 as a meteorologist, leading an all-male department. Her team worked on cutting-edge issues ranging from cloud seeding and wind energy to helping PG&E prepare for the opening of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. She also was instrumental in emphasizing the integral role that weather forecasts play in helping the company provide safe and reliable gas and electric service.
“Margaret Mooney stands out as one of the significant role models in the 110-year history of PG&E. Her leadership and dedication to science makes her the ideal namesake for our new innovation award,” said Karen Austin, a PG&E senior vice president and its chief information officer.
Mooney became interested in meteorology while serving in the U.S. Air Force and then studied it at UCLA, where she often was the only woman in her classes. After college, she worked for the Army and eventually joined PG&E.
In a video tribute shown at the award ceremony, Mooney was typically humble about her achievements. “I never considered I was doing anything except my job,” she said. “That’s the innovation, I think, PG&E hiring me.”
That job could mean climbing part of the way up a 250-tower at Diablo Canyon to check on meteorology instruments.
Woodrow “Woody” Whitlach was hired by Mooney in 1978, and saw the impact she had on PG&E projects. “Just about everything she did was innovative,” he said, including her focus on the importance of data.
Mooney, 86, is retired and lives in Southern California.
Winners of the first Margaret Mooney Award for Innovation included:
- A team that thought outside the box to successfully complete a rotor-replacement project at the Helms Pumped Storage Facility in Fresno County. The team built its own replacement rotors that matched the fit, form and function of the originals. Helms’ 1,200-MW generation provides power to tens of thousands of PG&E customers.
- A team that figured out a way to use a mobile power generating system to keep customers in power during planned outages, small-scale emergencies and maintenance work that would have typically meant losing power. The plug-and-play system is mobile, fully assembled, wired and ready to move 24/7.
- A team that developed dramatically enhanced data visualization of outages and assets through Google Earth SAP. The 3-D view on a web-based map not only shows geography, but also visualizes layers of assets such as circuits, poles and critical customer facilities.
Click here to watch a video story on Margaret Mooney on PG&E’s Currents website.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.