Diablo Power Plant to be shut down
Plant will be phased out by 2025
–Diablo Power plant, the last remaining active power plant in California, will be phased out by 2025, according to Pacific Gas and Electric Co (PG&E). A joint proposal was announced Tuesday morning by PG&E and labor and environmental groups.
Under the proposal, the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County would be retired by PG&E after its current Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) operating licenses expire in Nov. 2024 and Aug. 2025.
The power produced by the plant’s two nuclear reactors would be replaced with investment in a greenhouse-gas-free portfolio of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage, PG&E said in a statement.
Key Elements of the joint proposal
Under the terms of the proposal, PG&E will retire Diablo Canyon at the expiration of its current Nuclear Regulatory Commission operating licenses. The parties will jointly propose and support the orderly replacement of Diablo Canyon with green house gas free resources.
PG&E says it will immediately cease any efforts on its part to renew the Diablo Canyon operating licenses and will ask the NRC to suspend consideration of the pending Diablo Canyon license renewal application.
PG&E says it does not believe customer rates will increase as a result of the joint proposal because it believes it is likely that implementing the proposal will have a lower overall cost than relicensing the plant and operating it through 2044. Factors affecting this include, in addition to lower demand, declining costs for renewable power and the potential for higher renewable integration costs if the plant is relicensed.
Shutdown recognizes state’s move towards a modern, renewable energy economy, says Congresswoman
“For the past 30 years, PG&E and the Diablo Canyon Power Plant have been important partners in our local community, providing a significant portion of our energy and serving as the largest private employer in San Luis Obispo County,” said Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) in a statement. “In light of today’s announcement, I am pleased to hear that they have been working with a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives from both the labor community and environmental interests, to ensure a responsible transition. In particular, I appreciate PG&E’s focus on ensuring that their employees, the county, and our region’s energy needs will be provided for during this transition away from nuclear power. PG&E’s decision highlights the shift in our nation’s energy landscape – one that is moving more and more toward a clean, renewable energy future. The plant’s shutdown plan recognizes California’s move towards a modern, renewable energy economy by calling for increased development and expansion of locally provided clean energy alternatives. These investments will ensure the Central Coast continues to be a leader in the green energy economy. But this is just the beginning of a long process, and my office will be closely monitoring the transition with Diablo Canyon, as well as its employees and local environmental groups, as this plan moves forward.”
Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), who represents San Luis Obispo County, released the following statement about the announcement:
“The Diablo Canyon Power Plant has been an anchor tenant for the region, as well as a point of controversy over the decades it has been in operation. The agreement by PG&E not to seek license renewal is historic and will have a major impact on the San Luis Obispo region. This action underscores the need for my Senate Bill 968, which calls for an economic assessment to assist the community on how to best address the needs of the plant’s workforce, the public’s safety, and the region’s economic interests. I look forward to working with all the stakeholders to ensure that the transition will be smooth.”
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