“This afternoon, PG&E announced the sale of certain license agreements with wireless providers to SBA Communications Corporation. PG&E and SBA also entered into a strategic relationship to market and sublicense equipment at additional wireless attachment locations on PG&E’s electric transmission assets.
“To be clear — PG&E is not selling any transmission towers as part of this transaction; they are monetizing future rents from wireless providers. Any work on PG&E’s electric transmission infrastructure will continue to be performed by IBEW 1245’s trained and qualified electrical workers.
“These arrangements are carried out in compliance with the CPUC’s General Order 95, wildfire mitigation procedures, and other utility safety standards and protocols. PG&E will continue to regularly inspect and maintain the towers and audit the attachments.
“The sale of these licenses applies to over 700 towers, and is expected to generate $973 million in initial proceeds. This transaction is expected to close in early 2021.
“PG&E expects the proceeds from this agreement to help further strengthen its financial position while also benefiting customers. The company estimates that approximately half of the net sale proceeds will be returned to electric transmission and distribution customers in the form of lower monthly bills.
“Licenses for wireless antennas are one of the secondary uses of transmission towers approved by the Federal Electric Reliability Commission (FERC) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and under this agreement, PG&E retains control over its safety protocols. For years, wireless providers have paid PG&E to attach equipment to many of the company’s thousands of transmission towers and other utility structures.
“It is important to remember that PG&E will still own, inspect and maintain these towers.”