Press Releases

Picarro Demonstrates its Cutting-Edge Leak Detection Technology at EPA’s Natural Gas Star Workshop

California Utility PG&E Will Discuss Safety Benefits of Picarro Technology at AGA Event

Santa Clara, CA – May 23, 2013 – Picarro Inc. will participate in an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Natural Gas STAR workshop during the American Gas Association (AGA) Operations Conference in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday, May 23.  San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a customer of Picarro Inc., will be on hand to talk about the technology and how it enhances gas safety for its customers.

The Natural Gas STAR Program encourages oil and natural gas companies to adopt cost-effective technologies and practices that improve operational efficiency and reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas and clean energy source. As part of this workshop, Steve Redding, Bay Area Maintenance and Construction Director for PG&E and Michael Woelk, CEO of Picarro, will discuss how PG&E has implemented the Picarro Surveyor™ technology into the utility’s natural gas leak detection efforts.

“We’ve been using Picarro Surveyor technology since 2012, and we are excited to be the first natural gas operator to use it. This is a powerful tool that allows us to complete comprehensive surveys of our service area and allows us to find and fix leaks more efficiently than previous detection methods,” said Steve M. Redding, PG&E Director of Bay Area Maintenance and Construction.  

In October 2012, PG&E announced that it would deploy a total of six Picarro Surveyor™ devices for vehicle-mounted, super-sensitive gas leak detection throughout its Northern and Central California service area over the next three years. PG&E initially ordered two devices in early 2012 and studied their capabilities by mounting them on electric vehicles. Picarro and PG&E have now signed a three-year managed services contract for six units.

“PG&E is a very forward-thinking utility and we are honored to provide a technology that aids in their approach to pipeline safety,” said Michael Woelk, CEO of Picarro, Inc. “We look forward to showing other utilities how our technology can vastly impact the way that they approach pipeline safety and leak detection.”

Picarro Surveyor measures and maps natural gas and methane plumes in the air as the vehicle drives through neighborhoods—a improvement over less-sensitive handheld instruments used in walking surveys. The easy-to-use solution, which includes a high-precision gas analyzer and an online user interface that provides real-time data on an iPad or other web-enabled device, alerts users and repair teams immediately upon leak detection. Picarro’s patented gas analysis technology is approximately 1,000-times more sensitive than traditional leak detection equipment, capable of detecting leaks down to one part per billion in ambient air while reducing false positives from naturally occurring methane.