Third District Supervisor Shirlee Zane aimed high at the Rohnert Park City Council on Tuesday, as the political campaign to convince cities to join the county’s public power agency continued.
Sonoma County officials have announced a schedule of presentations to local city councils over the next two months on the county’s plans for a public power agency.
Five months from now, Sonoma County intends to launch its program to become the power supplier to 220,000 local homes and businesses, displacing Pacific Gas and Electric Co. from its position of energy dominance.
Sonoma County government this week could take its most significant step yet toward becoming a power provider for homes and businesses. The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday is set to consider creation of a separate agency, known as a joint-powers authority, to administer the power program.
A plan to form a public agency to provide electric power in Sonoma County, which is touted as a boon for renewable energy and the environment, was pitched Tuesday night to the Sebastopol City Council. The process, called Community Choice Aggregation, would create a power agency consisting of Sonoma County government, the county water agency and the nine cities. It is allowed under a 2002 state law that lets local governments buy energy on the wholesale market.
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to push forward toward formation of a countywide public power agency. The 4-0 vote marked the most significant move yet on the proposal, which has been under review since last year. At least an additional 18 months of work is envisioned before a final decision to launch the effor
Sonoma County officials are touting survey results released Wednesday that they say show further support for a county bid to form a public power agency. However, the feedback also showed support for any county move is tied to widespread concern about maintaining stable and comparable electricity rates now provided largely by PG&E.
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation to ease the path for local governments — including the Sonoma County Water Agency — seeking to establish their own power agencies. The bill by state Sen. Mark Leno strengthens existing law requiring privately owned utilities to cooperate with public power efforts.