11 bidders seek to provide power to Sonoma County

Ten companies and one nonprofit agency are competing for an initial contract to provide electricity to Sonoma County homes and businesses through the county's proposed public power agency.

The bids are for a contract of at least three years with an estimated worth of about $340 million, according to county officials. The program seeks to displace PG&E as the area's dominant electricity supplier, a move that supporters say would boost support for renewable energy and spur investment in local power projects.

The responses, received Friday, came mostly from large national and multi-national energy suppliers, including the operator of The Geysers geothermal field along the Sonoma—Lake county border.

Another bid, by Shell Energy North America, could draw scrutiny from activists who have opposed its contract with Marin County and its proposed deal with San Francisco.

County officials were not prepared Monday to discuss the power rates they got back in the responses.

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