Just a few months ago things looked shaky, with both the city of Salinas and Monterey County contemplating bowing out of a plan to break Pacific Gas & Electric’s local monopoly.
The plan was to do it with clean energy.
But now, 19 local governments have announced their intention of joining Monterey Bay Community Power to create a Community Choice Energy program—including the city of Salinas and Monterey County.
Santa Cruz and San Benito counties have taken action as well as the following cities: Capitola, Carmel, Del Rey Oaks, Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, San Juan Bautista, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Seaside, Soledad and Watsonville.
The next step is for cities to pass ordinances in January and February 2017 to establish a joint power authority and formally create the MBCP.
The governments will have to put up $2 million to start making clean energy purchases on the open market.
MBCP hopes to start selling energy to Monterey Bay area residents by the spring of 2018, at prices equal to what PG&E charges.
Once the initial investment is paid back to local governments, profits will be investing in local renewable energy projects including wind, solar, geothermal and biomass sources, among others.
Local Governments Move to Break PG&E Monopoly, by Nick Rahaim, Monterey County Weekly, December 7, 2016.