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LA QUINTA — The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors, during the Board’s regular meeting of July 13 held in the Coachella Valley, took action to approve bylaws for the formation of the Coachella Valley Energy Commission.

The Commission is tasked with providing immediate and diverse local representation by Coachella Valley stakeholders for the unique energy needs of the greater Coachella Valley portion of the Imperial Irrigation District energy service area. Its focus includes the development of a long-term strategic plan for continued energy service to the Coachella Valley following the 2033 expiration of the 99-year lease between the Coachella Valley Water District and IID.

“By forming the Coachella Valley Energy Commission today, the IID Board continues to move this local alternative to AB 1021 forward,” said IID Board President James Hanks. “This is a very important step as it allows Coachella Valley representatives to set the direction for the future of energy service in the Coachella Valley and, importantly, for IID to protect Imperial Valley’s water rights.”

The Commission will consist of 14 commissioners, all with equal voting privileges, representing the IID Board, the cities of Coachella, Indio, La Quinta, the Cove Communities Services Commission, Coachella Valley Tribal Nations, at-large members, and both Riverside and Imperial counties. It is expected to meet monthly.

“Within the past several weeks IID has held individual stakeholder meetings across the Coachella Valley with each city, tribe, Riverside and Imperial counties, and a virtual town hall with eastern Coachella Valley stakeholders. The formation of the CVEC has been favorably received by all stakeholders that IID has met with,” said IID Vice President JB Hamby. “The questions and concerns regarding continued energy service in the Coachella Valley after 2033, the representation of and by Coachella Valley energy stakeholders, and the protection of IID’s Imperial Valley water rights, necessitate the formation of this commission.”

He added, “IID has exceeded every single one of its pledges to answer the concerns of Assemblyman Mayes and Assemblyman Garcia. We’ve done our part and respectfully, and firmly, ask them to reciprocate by allowing Coachella Valley communities and the IID to form a local solution to these local issues at the local level — not through a state mandate.”

In June, the IID Board approved Resolution 25-2021 to protect Imperial Valley’s water rights from legislative attempts to alter the governance of the IID Board by establishing the Coachella Valley Energy Commission as a mutually beneficial and more effective alternative to Assembly Bill 1021.

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