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Texas Solar Project Sold to CIP

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Industry News

California Promises Frisco Cheap Power if it goes Muni

LCG, Nov. 5, 2001--The chairman of California's new power authority said on Friday his agency would sell San Francisco low-cost electricity if voters decide leave the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. system and create a municipal utility.

S. David Freeman was in San Francisco at the invitation of supporters of two propositions on tomorrow's ballot which would pave the way for creation of a new public power system.

Freeman, who said he wasn't electioneering, made his presentation on the steps of San Francisco's City Hall. He said he was in town simply to lay out the facts, one of which was "This is a chance for San Francisco to start fresh."

He heads the oddly-named California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority, which has the power and authority to build, own and operate generating stations in competition with the state's utilities. And Freeman promised the city cut-rate power if the voters showed the good sense to form a municipal utility.

"We're sort of the Costco of the power market," Freeman said.

Well, not yet. The power authority has no plants and no contracts for capacity, and Freeman conceded that he didn't have any power to sell to San Francisco. But he said his agency could help out with low-cost financing for San Francisco power projects.

Frank Gallagher, a spokesman for PG&E which opposes both ballot measures, said Freeman might be speaking for himself but doubted he represented the views of all five members who govern the power authority. "What he said may sound great, but it's just a desperate, last-minute attempt to move voters," Gallagher said.

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