The City of Palm Springs, California, has selected two finalists, one of which will operate the municipal electric system if the city is successful in its effort to break away from its current investor-owned electric utility, Southern California Edison. Art Lyons, ex-mayor and consultant to the city, said the Illinova Power Marketing affiliate of Illinois Power, and investor-owned utility Portland General Electric, are the finalists following the November, 1995 solicitation for bidders to serve the city.
Each company has agreed to pay $150,000 to underwrite the city's legal costs. The winner will pay the loser back, and the city will return the money to both if it comes to terms with SoCal Edison.
"We don't want to become a utility" said Lyons. The city is pursuing a muni-lite strategy under which it would own master meters and some distribution facilities bt not the whole delivery system within municipal borders. Residents and businesses could choose between being served by the Palm Springs supplier and So Cal Edison.
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