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Governor Signs Bigelow’s Bill Benefiting Local Hydroelectricity

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Sacramento, CA — Utica Water and Power Authority, serving east Calaveras County communities and the City of Angels Camp, has scored a win with the passage of a law that will help maximize its hydroelectricity revenues.

By penning his approval to Mother Lode lawmaker Frank Bigelow’s AB 1979 this week Governor Jerry Brown has enabled local utilities such as UWPA to tap the state’s renewable feed-in tariff, ensuring a reliable funding source for their hydroelectric operations. These utilities, which deliver water to communities using revenues generated from hydroelectric energy production, remain eligible for the tariff program as long as they deliver no more than 3 MW of electricity to the grid.

Bigelow states, “This is a major victory for the people of Calaveras County who will now have continued access to affordable water and power. For our area that has suffered through the ongoing drought and dangerous wild fires, this bill provides much needed reliability and security.” As an added bonus, he further states that the legislation advances the state’s goal of incentivizing small renewable energy suppliers.

Angels Camp City Councilman and UWPA Board President Bert Sobon shares this statement: “AB 1979 provides much needed support to our drought-stricken community by making it possible for UWPA to continue its pursuit of efforts to maximize revenue from our Murphys Powerhouse. We still have a lot of work to do to complete this process but AB 1979 was a crucial step. Assemblyman Bigelow and his staff immediately recognized the importance of protecting the water supply provided by UWPA to Murphys and Angels Camp, which is UWPA’s primary responsibility, and they really came through for us — UWPA is very grateful for their efforts.”