NID Directors Delay Next Step in Securing Local Control of Power Grid – the District remains committed to local control

December 12, 2019

The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) remains committed to securing local control of our region’s electrical distribution system, although the District’s Board of Directors have decided to delay one of the many steps that would be required for NID to become the local provider.

At its Dec. 11 Board Meeting, the Directors considered filing a request with the Nevada County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) to initiate a study assessing a new or different service and consider expanding the District’s service area for providing power. The LAFCo process includes an independent fiscal and risk analysis.

During Wednesday’s Board meeting, NID staff detailed a Plan for Service, which outlines how the acquisition would be financed, estimates of costs, current understanding of electrical distribution infrastructure, and other benefits in adding an electric utility service to the District’s existing service lines.

The Board expressed caution and the need for more information before taking this step, wanting instead to see how PG&E’s bankruptcy proceedings evolve and to hear a response from PG&E on NID’s non-binding and assignable notice of intent to acquire its regional electrical distribution assets.

At its Nov. 6 meeting, the Board directed staff to negotiate with PG&E for the purchase of their assets and operations in the region. Urgency was important to meet the bankruptcy court’s deadline of November 20, 2019 for PG&E’s plan for reorganization.

The benefits of such an acquisition and local control would include improved accountability with access to local policy makers, local decisions on outages minimized by SMART technology investments and rate structures that meet the needs of our various community constituents, including disadvantaged customers.

NID believes that its experience as a local water utility serving this region for nearly 100 years and managing seven hydroelectric power plants make the District a qualified candidate to operate the system. NID will continue to explore options for local control, and will continue to listen to the public as the PG&E reorganization evolves.

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