• Pacific Gas and Electric Company

    Engineering Contractor Collaboration Solution Using ProjectWise and Bentley Substation

    San Ramon, California, United States

Project Summary


With 60 percent of projects contracted to its alliance partners, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) sought to create a collaborative contractor process to streamline drawing control, manage information security, centralize drawing databases, and reduce document bottlenecks. This USD 450,000 project allowed Substation Engineering Services (SES) to eliminate the need for a drawing administrator, and improve document control, ensure design consistency, and reduce cycle times for all PG&E contracted projects. To meet these demands, SES needed efficient, integrated technology operating in a secure environment.


Having realized an annual USD 5 million savings deploying Bentley Substation and ProjectWise to design substations internally, SES extended the use of Bentley software to PG&E contractors to provide them access to PG&E’s environment. Implementing Bentley Substation and ProjectWise via a secure Citrix connection enabled PG&E to collaborate with contracting firms on substation designs, and provided the information security, support capacity, and real-time bandwidth needed for all applications to function optimally.


Allowing contractors direct, real-time access to PG&E’s drawings and databases in a secure environment greatly reduced project delivery times, facilitated efficient collaboration, and reduced errors that would previously occur due to inadequate drawing control. Extending the benefits of Bentley software to contractors eliminated the need for a drawing administrator, saving PG&E USD 65,000 annually in operating costs. With savings of up to 35 percent due to improved efficiency on each capital order contracted for design, PG&E ultimately expects to realize savings of USD 5 million annually.


The use of Bentley Substation and ProjectWise with contracted engineers expanded information mobility, allowing all contractors to simultaneously work in PG&E’s environment accessing the same databases in real time. The error checking, automation, 3D modeling, and collaborative capabilities of Bentley technology provided PG&E exceptional document and version control, enhanced data security, shorter lag time, efficient collaboration among substation designers, and fewer errors than had previously occurred as a result of inadequate drawing control. 

  • To optimize design on the 60 percent of contracted design projects, SES implemented a collaborative solution that allowed external contractors to securely access and share PG&E’s substation drawings in Bentley Substation and ProjectWise.
  • Allowing contractors to use Bentley solutions via a secure connection improved PG&E’s document control, ensured design consistency, reduced cycle times, and saved an annual USD 65,000 by eliminating the need for a drawing administrator.
  • The Bentley-based solution improved information mobility, reduced design errors, and optimized project delivery time, resulting in efficiencies of up to 35 percent per contracted design order.
  • Based on its annual savings of USD 5 million resulting from the internal use of Bentley software, PG&E expects to realize the same ROI by extending the software to its contractors.
  • “Over the last several years PG&E has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Bentley. With the completion of our Engineering Contractor Collaboration Solution, we are proud to bring our external contractors on board and include them in this partnership. As a result we are collaborating more effectively, efficiently, securely and confidently with our contractors in order to achieve greater success in overall project delivery.”

    Josue Martinez Senior Project Manager, P.E. Pacific Gas & Electric