A buzz of excitement was palpable throughout Burbank Water and Power's EcoCampus as General Manager Ron Davis and his staff welcomed hundreds of residents to the utility's Centennial Celebration open house this past Saturday.
“It's a big deal,” said Jeanette Meyer, the utility's marketing manager, as the event began. “One hundred years is a huge milestone and we're very proud to welcome the community in to celebrate with us.”
That sense of pride ran like a thread, or, perhaps, as a more appropriate analogy, like a power line, from one utility worker to the next as they explained and demonstrated how they provide Burbank with the vital commodities of electricity and water.
“Burbank has always been a forward-thinking city when it comes to the generation and delivery of water and power,” said Joanne Fletcher, who serves as the utility's assistant general manager of customer service and marketing. “That was true 100 years ago and it remains true today. The innovations and investments that have been made by the city and [the utility] will assure that Burbank residents and businesses will continue to be well-served as we head into our next 100 years of service.”
The day-long event, which gave visitors the opportunity to be outfitted in utility workers' harnesses and hard hats to climb power poles and take bucket rides, also served as a showcase for the utility to show off the only industrial site in the world with three buildings that have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum designations.
Throughout the day, guests took self-guided tours through the main administration building, the electrical services building, the water division service center, the only LEED Platinum warehouse in California, and the Magnolia Power Plant.
Put into service in 2005, the power plant was built in partnership with the cities of Anaheim, Glendale, Pasadena, Cerritos and Colton.
It is a clean, high-efficiency unit that operates exclusively on reclaimed water and has the capacity of up to 310 megawatts. Twice as efficient as previous power plants, it uses less fuel, produces 98% fewer emissions and improves regional electric reliability by reducing the reliance on long-distance transmission lines.
Saturday's event, which included welcoming remarks by Davis, Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy and Burbank Water and Power Board Chairman Philippe Eskandar, also featured numerous children's activities, a food truck court, landscaping workshops, a presentation of the utility's vehicles, and booths offering information on various programs that are offered by Burbank Water and Power.
DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (818) 563-1007.