GRASS VALLEY, Calif. February 27, 2020 – At yesterday’s Nevada Irrigation District (NID) board meeting, General Manager Rem Scherzinger informed directors the district’s liability coverage for transmission and distribution lines will be excluded from their policy on July 1, 2020 by their current insurance carrier.
Scherzinger stated a phone call on Monday informed the district that Special District Risk Management Authority (SDRMA) was discontinuing coverage for the approximately 9 miles of transmission lines the district owns and operates to convey power from hydro plants to the PG&E grid. Smaller distribution lines owned by NID are also affected.
In a follow-up conversation, Assistant General Manager Greg Jones told YubaNet that at this time, NID is waiting for the official exclusion letter from SDRMA.
If the district is unable to find liability coverage for the power lines, or if the cost of coverage becomes exorbitant, one option is to shut down the power plants. NID owns seven power plants generating a total of 82.2 Megawatts, producing an average 375 million kilowatt hours of energy each year. The power output is then sold to PG&E.
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Jones stated the district is looking to collaborate with other agencies and will explore all options. During the board meeting, Board President Ricki Heck requested help from Assemblymember Dahle’s representative who attended the meeting. The district will continue reach out to local and state agencies to find a solution within a short timeframe.
SDRMA President Mike Scheafer confirmed four other districts are affected by the same liability exclusion. “Our authority is a pool of risk. We have over 500 members that are part of that pool that rely on us take care of any of their claims, risk management and so forth. By continuing to expose our smaller members and our members at large to this extremely high risk of transmission lines causing major claims, we really put the integrity of our pool at risk by continuing to cover those transmission lines.” Scheafer added that ideally, since NID’s power is fed into the PG&E system, they should be providing coverage for those lines.