Hunters Point power plant demolished


A piece of controversial history is gone and Hunters Point residents have a new vista. It was quite a loud and spectacular sight as the structures were taken down in a controlled and instantaneous fall.

Construction demolition crews used small cutting charges to bring down two boiler buildings and a tall stack. When each of the gun-powdered charges exploded - it sliced through the building material, causing it all to fall on top of itself and the stack fell over in its entirety.

PG&E's Hunters Point power plant started operating in 1929 and was a prime source of electricity into San Francisco. It became one of the state's oldest and dirtiest in the state, and for years, residents living near the plant worked hard to get it closed - blaming it for many health and environmental problems.

PG&E eventually agreed to shut it down, and Friday's final demolition marks a significant community milestone.

"Back in 1996 we worked with the community to commit to shut the plant down. In order to replace the power output from this plant, we spent over $300-million to build nine new transmission lines into the city, and when those were completed in may of 2006, as soon as they were completed in 2006, we shut the plant down," said Joe Molica, PG&E Spokesperson.

Once all of the site is cleared, PG&E says it will begin remediation of the land, which could take up to two years - while it's only required to clean it up to industrial standards, it says it will voluntarily restore the soil to levels safe for residential development.

PG&E still owns the land and says it has no plans to sell the site yet, but this property has been eyed by the city as a potential new stadium site for the 49ers, if they do not move south to Santa Clara.

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