PG&E Given Court Approval To Begin Electric Transmission Projects On Path 15 And In Bay Area's Tri-Valley


SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced today that it has received approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to begin electric transmission construction projects on Path 15 and in the Tri-Valley area.

The Court, which must approve all PG&E expenditures over $50 million, approved the utility's request to begin these important multi-year transmission projects.

Path 15, a part of the electric transmission grid near Los Banos, CA, is being upgraded by a consortium led by the Western Area Power Administration. On October 18, 2001, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced a memorandum of understanding among various public and private parties governing the financing and co-ownership of the necessary Path 15 system additions, with participants including PG&E, among others. Pacific Gas and Electric Company's primary role in the project is to interconnect the transmission lines being built with the utility's existing Los Banos and Gates substations.

This Path 15 upgrade will be of substantial benefit not only to California, but also to the entire western grid. Under the terms of the decision released by the Court on Friday, PG&E may enter into binding contracts and spend up to $75 million in support of the Path 15 project.

The Court also gave approval for PG&E to spend up to $136.9 million to build the Tri-Valley Capacity Upgrade project.

Demand for electricity in the Tri-Valley region - located just east of San Francisco - has reached 98.6% of the system's capacity. Taking into consideration the Tri-Valley region's existing residents and businesses, along with the development that has already been approved by local governments, electrical demand is projected to exceed the system's capacity.

The Tri-Valley upgrade is designed to ensure continued reliability of the region's electric power system for the area's residents and businesses. Communities to be served by this project include the cities of Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, and San Ramon, as well as neighboring unincorporated parts of Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company sought court approval to begin these two projects last month and the motions were unopposed. In addition, the utility's request was supported by the Official Creditors' Committee.


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