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Coachella takes steps toward creating municipal energy utility

Coachella is working toward the creation of a municipal energy utility to serve certain areas of its community.

In a staff report issued on November 13, City Manager William B. Pattison Jr. recommended that Mayor Steven Hernandez and the City Council adopted Resolution No. 2019-62, which would set up the framework for such a service.

The municipally-owned utility would be created in conjunction with Lamb Energy and would be interconnected with Imperial Irrigation District's transmission system. According to the report, the system would provide additional power to the City's Industrial Zone, Auto-Wrecking Zone, and other underserved areas.

"By law, municipalities are allowed to form municipal utilities for the purpose of providing certain commodities to their residents and businesses, such as electricity, telecommunications, cable television, water, natural gas and sanitary sewer," read an excerpt from the report's executive summary. "In some cases, this has proven advantageous, particularly from an economic development perspective. Municipalities have been able to provide services to new development and under-served areas for power within their cities, providing lower utility rates, rate stability and local revenue generation."

To help facilitate said utility creation, the city seeks to execute a Letter of Intent with Lamb Energy. The letter's execution will commit the city to work with the service provider for 12 months in an effort to identify the "necessary project infrastructure and design, construction and financing mechanisms to provide the necessary electrical power to serve certain areas of the City."

As of Wednesday, no funds have been requested from the city to begin planning for the project.

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Sam Benson Smith

Sam Benson Smith is the Digital Content Director for Gulf California Broadcasting. Learn more about Sam here.

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