It’s possible that in the near future Marin County may not be the only county in the state to operate its own public power agency. Sonoma County supervisors have approved a study to look into having an agency of its own, which means it would become the second county to run a public system that buys energy on the wholesale market in order to be resold to local residents and businesses. The study is expected to last for six months and will reportedly cost around $150,000. Overtaking the role of a utility like PG&E in the region in order to become a power supplier has support among officials who see the option as a way to help green the county. The Press Democrat reports:
“The formation of a public power agency could be a key way to boost investment in local renewable energy sources and make faster cuts in local greenhouse gas emissions, county officials said. It would also cement the county's place on the leading edge of local governments focused on clean, sustainable power programs. […] ‘This is a big and bold initiative for this board,’ said Board Chairman Efren Carrillo.”
However, the power business is fraught with obstacles, including getting cities and residents on board and developing the necessary power sources so that the region’s power demands can be met. For more on the study and plan, see here.