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California Getting Back Into Energy Business to Save Wobbly Grid

Golden State’s legislature grants water agency the authority to finance or buy power plants—even gas-fired generators.

Power lines and transmission towers at sunrise in Crockett, California.

Power lines and transmission towers at sunrise in Crockett, California.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

California is getting back into the electricity business to help shore up its shaky power grid.

The California legislature passed a measure late Wednesday that will give a state agency the authority to finance or buy power from any generator—including natural gas-fired plants—that can help prevent blackouts. The bill still requires the signature of Governor Gavin Newsom.