PG&E, SFPUC vying for deal 

Sustainable power stressed in agencies’ bids to service Hunters Point development

Just down the road from the hulk of the recently closed Pacific Gas and Electric Company power plant in Hunters Point, the utility has entered a bid to provide power to a new commercial and residential development on city-owned land.

On Monday, the day before PG&E President Tom King was to speak at a conference on The City’s economic strategies, the utility shared its proposal for providing power to the development on the former site of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, which The City bought from the Navy last year.

Lennar Corp., of Miami, is contracting with The City to develop an area of the former base called Parcel A. The company must choose between the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and PG&E, both of which state goals of providing the development with sustainablepower at competitive rates.

Last month, the commission announced its vision to power the 93-acre development with solar energy. The SFPUC administers San Francisco’s water supply and answers The City’s municipal power needs. It provides about 20 percent of the power consumed in San Francisco, according to spokesman Tony Winnicker.

The agency first announced it hoped to provide power to the development on Aug. 11. At that time, it was thought that PG&E would submit a competing proposal, and on Monday the utility shared that proposal with The Examiner.

King said that as part of the proposal, the utility would commit about $2.6 million to installing the infrastructure that will connect the Hunters Point Development to its grid. It would then budget another $4 million toward rate assistance for low-income customers, free energy-efficiency programs and the development of solar and other self-generation incentive programs.

The utility generates about 54 percent of its power without producing carbon emissions, with about 30 percent of its juice coming from renewable sources, King said. Nuclear sources account for some of its nonrenewable, non-carbon-producing power generation.

King said the utility would initially connect the new development to its grid, but, "as it’s developed and say, for instance, solar panels are installed on the roofs of buildings, you’re moving toward the goal of sustainability." He said the "security of the grid" would be an advantage of contracting with PG&E, but that the goal for the development would be to make it self-sustaining.

Alternately, the SFPUC envisions a green power supply from the start, Winnicker said. That agency draws most of its power from hydroelectric generators at the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in the Sierras.

It also uses solar panels and occasionally buys power to meet The City’s municipal needs. Renewable sources count for 77 percent of the commission’s power, Winnicker said.

Winnicker said The City hopes to install solar panels on the covered University Mound reservoir, which would generate enough electricity to power the Hunters Point development.

The commission would charge rates equal to or below those of PG&E, he said.

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Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015


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