US utility PG&E prepares to file for bankruptcy / John Simon as interim CEO appointed
Post date: 14/01/2019 - 18:32
PG&E Corporation, owner of the biggest U.S. power utility by number of customers, is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for all of its businesses probably at the end of January. According to news agency »Reuters«, PG&E »faces widespread litigation, government investigations and liabilities that could potentially reach $30 billion,« accounting for damage from fires in 2018 and in 2017. The wildfires have killed more than 80 people and destroyed thousands of homes. According to the »Washington Post«, declaring insolvency is »ultimately the only viable option to restore PG&E’s financial stability to fund ongoing operations and provide safe service to customers,« citing company officials.
According to news agency »Bloomberg«, S&P Global Ratings cut the credit rating of Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s 550 MW »Topaz Solar Farm« to junk, »noting that the plant counts on embattled utility giant PG&E Corp. for all of its revenue.« The company had more than 6 GW of deals to buy wind and solar power from suppliers including Sempra Energy and Consolidated Edison Inc. as of January 2017, says the agency.
First Solar Inc. started construction on the »Topaz Solar Farm« in November 2011. Berkshire Hathaway's MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. agreed to purchase the project in December 2011.
PG&E Corporation is a Fortune 200 energy-based holding company, headquartered in San Francisco. It is the parent company of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, an energy company that serves 16 million Californians across a 70,000-square-mile service area in Northern and Central California. The company says, it does not expect any impact to electric or natural gas service for its customers as a result if the bankruptcy process. The company also expects that its employees will continue to receive their pay and healthcare benefits as usual.
On Sunday, PG&E Corporation announced that its CEO Geisha Williams has resigned from the Boards of both the holding company and the utility. The Board of Directors appointed John Simon as Interim Chief Executive Officer. He has served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel since 2017 and has been with the company since 2007.