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Sacramento utility to vote on whether to acquire PG&E utility hydro asset

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District is moving toward an acquisition of Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s 7-MW Chili Bar hydro project in El Dorado County, Calif.

Should its board approve the purchase, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, or SMUD, will acquire the facility for $10.4 million.

The energy resources and customer services committee of the board of directors was scheduled to meet Aug. 14 to discuss whether to grant CEO and General Manager Arlen Orchard authority to execute the Chili Bar asset purchase and sale agreement, with the board to vote on the deal Aug. 15.

Under the purchase and sale agreement, the PG&E Corp. subsidiary will receive a $100,000 deposit, with the remaining balance due at closing, according to a presentation prepared by SMUD for the Aug. 14 meeting.

Factors informing the sale price included the market value of energy, renewable energy credits associated with the facility and "[r]esource adequacy capacity value" in the California ISO, according to the presentation.

Chili Bar is on the South Fork American River, a major tributary of the 120-mile American River. The project is downstream from a number of dams operated by SMUD, collectively known as the Upper American River Project.

Should SMUD purchase Chili Bar, it would operate all major hydro facilities on the American River Watershed until the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation-operated Folsom Dam, according to a report in the Sacramento Business Journal.

The acquisition will require approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission.