Gunfire at Silicon Valley Substation Triggers Power Outage

A Silicon Valley power substation was damaged after shots were fired early on Tuesday morning, leading the California grid operator to call for electricity conservation in the face of what it called an act of vandalism Jason King, a spokesman for PG&E Pacific Gas and Electric, said the vandalism caused a leak in cooling oil.

"There were gunshots heard at the facility," early in the morning, he said. PG&E still is assessing the damage.

He was unable to comment further on the motive or extent of the crime, and law enforcement was not immediately available for comment.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) made the conservation request to local businesses and residents in a "Flex Alert" for Northern California.

"This is a critical substation in Silicon Valley. Transmission capability in the area is much limited and that's why we are calling for conservation now," said ISO spokesman Steven Greenlee.

Electricity has not been interrupted so far, but that is a risk if conservation does not happen, Greenlee said. He did not know when the station might be back to normal but said that switching out transformers "takes a while."