Mayor, board president signal CleanPowerSF support 

San Francisco will try again to create a power alternative to PG&E — this time with Mayor Ed Lee's support.

The City is allowed under state law to use PG&E's infrastructure to deliver electricity — including power derived from solar, wind or other renewable sources — to city residents, but has for over a decade struggled with exactly how to do so.

Last year, a plan to offer city electricity customers state-certified renewable energy purchased from Shell Energy North America through a program called CleanPowerSF died thanks in large part to opposition from the mayor.

But now the mayor wants the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to present a new plan for a PG&E alternative that would create locally owned power sources, jobs — mostly construction jobs for whatever infrastructure needs to be built — and be cost-competitive with PG&E, officials said Monday.

Lee "wants to see it is a viable program that can move forward with a local build-out without entering into a contract with an oil company," said Christine Falvey, the mayor's spokeswoman.

The new plan for a CleanPowerSF program is due by December, Falvey said.

Board of Supervisors President London Breed, a longtime CleanPowerSF supporter, told The San Francisco Examiner on Monday that Lee is "on board."

Earlier proposals for CleanPowerSF struggled to provide green power and compete with PG&E's electricity rates.

PG&E, which currently derives most of its energy from natural gas, is also working on a renewable-energy product.

It's not yet certain what competition PG&E will present with its green-tariff program.

About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has worked as a reporter in San Francisco since 2008, with an emphasis on city governance and politics, The City’s neighborhoods, race, poverty and the drug war.
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