San Diego Gas & Electric unveils Skills City neighborhood built as training ground

Posted at 4:56 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 12:38:36-04

SAN DIEGO - One of the most unique neighborhoods in San Diego is uninhabited but has the potential to save hundreds of lives.

On Thursday, San Diego Gas & Electric opened up its Skills City to the media.

SDG&E Communications Manager Hanan Eisenman said Skills City is "where we can actually simulate real-world situations that our crews might actually simulate in the field."

Skills City, located in Mission Valley, has real streets and tiny homes.

"It's basically a full mock-up of a city neighborhood," said Eisenman. "They have gas meters. They have electric meters. They have gas lines leading up to the home."

SDG&E can simulate gas leaks and damaged gas or electric lines. It allows crews to practice real scenarios using their gear in a safe environment.

"It's important because from time to time, construction crews will hit one of our lines and we want to respond immediately and get that fixed," he said.

Eisenman said 350 gas lines were accidentally broken in San Diego County last year.

SDG&E used Aug. 11 to highlight their new Skills City because the date matches the phone number people need to call before digging.

Calling 811 will identify existing underground utility lines.