California Power Authority Swan Song

By Published On: September 11, 2004

The California Power Authority participated in its last joint agency meeting this week. Funding for the agency dries up this month. CPA board member Barbara Lloyd criticized the former administration for not providing the agency, created during the energy crisis, with enough support?and blamed the current regime for eliminating it. Public power plays an important role in the energy market, Lloyd said, warning that the trend in the Schwarzenegger administration is to ?continue deregulation without any counterbalance.? Lloyd, who represents the state treasurer, worried whether the CPA?s successful programs, including its peak-use-reduction and solar programs, along with its bonding authority, would survive. ?They are orphan children floating around the various state foster agencies,? she said. CPA staff announced at the meeting that they had just received three bids to install solar-powered systems on state facilities, including a solicitation that is ready to go. The hope is that the program, which must guarantee that the cost of sun power never exceeds the cost of energy supplied by investor-owned utilities, will be continued by the Department of General Services. An impediment to the program?s success is the variable pricing requirement?that bidders guarantee that power under contract costs less than utility electricity. The Department of Finance required that condition to ensure that the program does not cost the state a dime.

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