San Francisco offers PG&E $2.5 B infrastructure buyout

US, San Francisco: San Francisco has offered to buy $2.5 B worth of electrical equipment from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), a crucial step in an evolving plan to take control of power distribution from the bankrupt utility in favor of a city-controlled municipal power company.

In a joint statement signed by both Mayor London Breed and City Attorney Dennis Herrera, the pair framed the bid as a sort of good solution for both parties.

“The offer we are putting forth is competitive, fair, and equitable,” said Breed and Herrera. “It will offer financial stability for PG&E, while helping the city expand upon our efforts to provide reliable, safe, clean and affordable electricity to the residents and businesses of San Francisco. It also considers equity for PG&E’s remaining customers and the city’s responsibility for ongoing costs. We look forward to positive, collaborative discussions with PG&E on this critical issue.”

In response, the PG&E spokesperson Andy Castagnola said, “We don’t believe municipalization is in the best interests of our customers and stakeholders, [but] we are committed to working with the city and will remain open to communication on this issue.”

PG&E is going through bankruptcy and facing the possibility of owing billions over its hand in starting devastating California wildfires, so the offered sum might be a good deal.

According to a local capacity substation list from 2018, PG&E has 36 substations providing power to San Francisco, although some of these are located on the peninsula rather than in the city itself.

Source: Curbed