Powering Strong Communities

South San Joaquin Irrigation District Bid To Replace PG&E As Power Provider Advances

The California Supreme Court on March 16 denied Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) petition for review of a decision by the Third District Court of Appeal, validating the San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission’s determination that the South San Joaquin Irrigation District (SSJID) has the ability and authority to provide electric utility service to its customers.

As a result, the SSJID can pursue acquisition of investor-owned PG&E’s electrical assets through eminent domain of the PG&E service area in the SSJID district boundaries, which includes the cities of Escalon, Manteca, and Ripon, and surrounding rural areas.

As part of the denial, PG&E will be required to pay legal costs to SSJID incurred while appealing this case in court over the past four years.  

A December 2021 decision issued by the Third District Court of Appeal validated the Local Agency Formation Commission’s approval of SSJID’s ability and authority to provide retail electric utility service to its customers. The decision also allows the district to move forward with the ability to provide those services by purchasing PG&E’s facilities through the process of eminent domain.

The SSJID expects to resume its eminent domain efforts in San Joaquin County Superior Court within the next year.  

SSJID was established in 1909 and is headquartered in Manteca, Calif.

SSJID provides agricultural irrigation water to about 56,000 acres surrounding Escalon, Ripon and Manteca, and wholesale drinking water to the cities of Manteca, Lathrop, Tracy, indirectly serving over 193,000 residents, and in the future, the city of Escalon.

SSJID, along with Oakdale Irrigation District, owns and operates the Tri-Dam Project, a series of storage reservoirs and electric generation facilities that produce zero-carbon hydropower in the Stanislaus Riverwater shed.