The City of San Francisco is aggressively pursuing taking control of power lines operated by Pacific Gas & Electric, having opened an inquiry with the California Public Utilities Commission to identify the comprehensive value of PG&E's electrical equipment within its city limits.
Once the commission identifies a total value for all poles and wires within the city limits, San Francisco will attempt to purchase them to gain more control over its energy grid. This is not the first time in recent history the city has attempted to purchase the equipment, as just two years ago it tried to pay $2.5 billion for PG&E's in-city assets after the utility declared bankruptcy (see CEM No. 1539).
PG&E rejected that initial bid, along with a follow-up bid. The city now hopes that CPUC establishment of a fair market value will be the first step toward a successful transaction.
The city has cited operational efficiency, combating climate change and providing more direct service to its residents as reasons behind its desire to assume control of PG&E's power infrastructure.