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Sonoma County kick starts a public power agency

  • Operator Tech Mike Taylor is responsible for the operations of the Socrates geothermal plant at the Calpine geothermal facility in the Geysers.

    (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted to implement a public power program for all homes and businesses outside city limits with plans to expand countywide.

The effort seeks to eventually displace Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in the electricity supply business for 220,000 homes and businesses. About 100,000 of those metered customers are in the county's unincorporated area.

The 4-1 vote sets in motion a series of decisions geared to roll out the power plan in January.

Unless customers formally opt out, they would receive power from the public agency. PG&E would continue to handle transmission, billing, metering, customer service and grid repair.

Supervisor Efren Carrillo, who pushed for the launch, called it "the county's moment."

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