Published on June 26th, 2016 | by Glenn Meyers
PG&E Will Close Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant, Using Renewables Instead
Pacific Gas & Electric has announced its Diablo Canyon nuclear plant will close.
CleanTechnica reports the electricity provider for northern California has reached a deal with environmental and labor groups to close the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant and replace it with renewable energy + greater energy efficiency + energy storage.
On June 21, PG&E provided this perspective:
“Reflecting California’s changing energy landscape, PG&E today announced a Joint Proposal with labor and leading environmental organizations that would increase investment in energy efficiency, renewables and storage beyond current state mandates while phasing out PG&E’s production of nuclear power in California by 2025.”
In a statement, PG&E chairman and CEO Tony Earley said, “California’s energy landscape is changing dramatically with energy efficiency, renewables and storage being central to the state’s energy policy. As we make this transition, Diablo Canyon’s full output will no longer be required. As a result, we will not seek to relicense the facility beyond 2025 pending approval of the joint energy proposal.”
The parties to the Joint Proposal include PG&E, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, Coalition of California Utility Employees, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment California, and Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility.
Under the terms of the deal, PG&E is committing to source 55% of its power from renewables by 2031 compared to the 50%-by-2030 renewable energy mandate in place in California. The utility is expected to propose a plan to the California Public Utilities Commission to replace the generation from the 2,240 MW plant with clean energy resources.
As part of the Joint Proposal, a planned eight- to nine-year transition period will provide the time to begin the process to plan and replace Diablo Canyon’s energy with new GHG-free replacement resources.
UtilityDive reporter Gavin Bade added this relevant outlook:
“The framework for Diablo Canyon’s retirement could provide a model for other jurisdictions facing nuclear closures. In May, an official from the Nuclear Energy Institute said as many as 20 plants could be at risk for retirement nationwide, which could put pressure on state efforts to comply with the Clean Power Plan if they are replaced with fossil generation. “
Image via Flickr: dirtsailor2003