Sonoma Clean Power, a public agency that supplies renewable energy to Sonoma and Mendocino counties, will begin exploring the impact of a public takeover of PG&E’s electrical grid as the bankrupt utility faces growing questions about the safety and solvency of its operations.
In a unanimous vote, Sonoma Clean Power’s board of directors instructed staff Thursday to study what role, if any, the Santa Rosa agency might play in the acquisition of PG&E power lines and other equipment.
“I think it’s incumbent upon us,” said board Chairman Mark Landman, a member of the Cotati City Council. “I don’t see where we have a choice. We recognize it. I know the public recognizes it.”
The vote followed a discussion of PG&E’s precarious hold on solvency, including whether it would be able to meet a June 30 deadline set by Gov. Gavin Newsom to resolve its bankruptcy in order to access state money to pay for future wildfire liabilities.
Sonoma Clean Power is following the lead of San Francisco and a public power agency in Yolo County, which each made offers to buy PG&E’s distribution grid, and a group of elected officials in Northern California who urged the creation of a customer-owned cooperative to replace PG&E.
Sonoma Clean Power officials will explore public ownership of PG&E utility lines, by Tyler Silvy, The Press Democrat, November 14, 2019.