Placer County Water whittles down number of potential hydropower brokers

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Directors of the Placer County Water Agency have authorized staff to select three or more power-marketing firms for further discussions on how the agency can best market its hydroelectric energy output starting in 2013. The firms will be selected from a long list of 11 that responded earlier this year to the water agency’s request for information. Einar Maisch, agency director of strategic affairs, said the water provider is carefully researching the power market and making every effort to ensure that future energy sales will benefit Placer County taxpayers and water customers. The power-marketing study is part of the agency’s efforts to relicense its Middle Fork American River Project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The series of facilities on rivers and reservoirs produces an average of a billion kilowatt-hours of energy a year. The current license runs out in 2013. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., which has held the energy contract for the past 50 years, is among the firms under consideration. – Gus Thomson