PG&E To Close Diablo Canyon In 2025

PG&E announced Tuesday that it would cease with any and all activities intended to extend the operating licenses of the company's two pressurized water reactors at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) beyond their original expiration dates of 2024 and 2025, having reached a joint agreement with labor and environmental groups in California to work towards replacing the plant's generation capacity with renewable power sources.

Diablo Canyon NPPThe company said it was making an unprecedented commitment to renewable power sources for such a large power company while phasing out its nuclear power generation within the next nine years. The agreement, PG&E said, recognizes the state's drive towards solar and wind power and the economic headwinds involved in operating enormous nuclear power plants.

“Underpinning the agreement” that would leave the state of California without any nuclear power plants, "is the recognition that California's new energy polities will significantly reduce the need for Diablo Canyon's electricity output,” the company said.

The joint agreement involves a partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, the Coalition o California Utility Employees, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment California and the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility.

The agreement struck between these groups was pushed by the increase of the Renewable Portfolio Standard in California to 50 percent, doubling of energy efficiency goals under SB 350, the challenge of managing over-generation and intermittency conditions under a resource portfolio increasingly influenced by solar and wind production, the growth rate of distributed energy resources and the potential increase in the departure of PG&E's retail load customers to Community Choice Aggregation, the purchasing system that supports the renewable power retail market with economies of scale purchasing.

PG&E defined two unprecedented factors of the agreement, which includes an agreement that replacing generation capacity covering the loss of Diablo Canyon's production will not involve any fossil fuel burning production and an aim for a resource portfolio that is 55 percent made up of renewable power sources by 2031, which means the company aims to exceed the state mandate of 50 percent by 2030.

The proposal is contingent upon a number of factors, including the approval of a lease extension from the State Lands Commission, without which the company cannot operate the Diablo Canyon plant beyond 2018, approval by the California Public Utilities Commission of the proposed plan for replacing Diablo Canyon with greenhouse gas free resources and confirmation from the Commission that PG&E's investment in Diablo Canyon will be recovered by the time the plant closes in 2025.

In addition, “any resource procurement PG&E makes will be subject to a non-bypassable cost allocation mechanism that ensures all users of PG&E's grid pay a fair share of the costs.”

The bottom-line factor is the recognition that the U.S. energy profile is in transition, said PG&E Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Tony Earley.

“California's energy landscape is changing dramatically with energy efficiency, renewables and storage being central to the state's energy policy,” Earley said. “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.”

He defined Diablo Canyon's role in the plan as “an important bridge strategy” to ensure safe, reliable energy while the state shifts to a greater emphasis on renewable power sources.  

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  • Never has it been more apparent that the inmates are running the asylum..

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    This whole process is very narrow minded but what dose anyone expect from California.. The state will look good with thousands of wind mills and then have a problem with the disrupted wind and bird conditions.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    They'll be sorry as soon as the "brown outs" start happening!

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Manifest destiny brought them

    To this canyon in the sun

    Not to leave the western world's

    Most cherished dream undone

    They must have gods or giants

    Posterity will say

    When in some other canyon

    Some newer dream holds sway

    "Diablo"

    RP, Generators

    Midnight, Jan 1, 2000

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Guess we can't blame PG&E for corporate greed but they sure screwed the residents of San Luis Obispo County.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Sorry, I am pro nuke, but the location of this site is so wrong considering earthquakes issues.   They should have built somewhere else in a better location if possible.  My thoughts is not because of Japan plants, but I had said it years ~20 years ago it was so wrong.  Rancho Seco was a much better location for a nuke site in Ca.  But nnnnnooooooooooooooooo.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    The environmentalists need to understand that a significant source of California power will remain nuclear - it is just produced at Palo Verde near Phoenix, CA. If Palo Verde decides it's in California's best interest to not have nuclear produced electrical power, the 5,000 megawatt plant could provide a "dis-enlightening" reality to 4-5 million citizens of California.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    California will either be dark at night, or buy Coal produced electricity, like they did for San Onofre.

    Go clean, leave the polution in  another state.  Shame on them.