United States

United States

PG&E power deals ruling set for judicial decision

A judge overseeing the bankruptcy of PG&E Corp will now have to rule on who has jurisdiction over the utility's contracts with renewable energy providers.

Wildfires in California in 2017 and 2018 are said to be a major cause of PG&E's financial troubles (pic: Dick Lyon / WikiCommons)
Wildfires in California in 2017 and 2018 are said to be a major cause of PG&E's financial troubles (pic: Dick Lyon / WikiCommons)

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The San Francisco-based utility wants the bankruptcy judge to have jurisdiction over the billions of dollars in power purchase agreements (PPAs) with companies such as NextEra Energy.

The power providers want the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to oversee the matter in conjunction with the court, believing it will be more sympathetic to their interests.

According to court documents, the parties have been unable to agree on the jurisdiction, and the bankruptcy judge will rule "in the coming weeks."

PG&E wants to retain the option of cancelling or renegotiating renewable energy contracts, worth up to $42 billion.

It buys the power from 2,150MW of wind capacity under some 26 separate PPAs.

PG&E sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January because of potential liabilities from lawsuits over deadly wildfires, allegedly caused by its transmission equipment.

"We appreciate the concerns from stakeholders across the state concerning the impact that Chapter 11 filing could have on the state’s clean energy progress. PG&E has made no decisions as to whether to assume or reject contracts as part of filing for Chapter 11," PG&E said.

California, the world’s fifth largest economy, has a goal of 100% zero-emissions electricity by 2045.

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