By the edhat staff
The California State Senate will hold a special hearing on Thursday to discuss extending operations at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant past its planned 2025 decommissioning.
Governor Gavin Newsom released a proposal earlier this month that would would allocate up to $1.4 billion for a forgivable loan to PG&E to keep Diablo Canyon running another five to 10 years.
This week, members of the California State Assembly released a counter-proposal to allocate $1.4 billion as a “clean, diverse, safe and reliable energy proposal.” It aims to boost renewable energy development, procurement and transmission to account for reliability gaps in the state’s electricity grid to pickup the slack left by Diablo and other power plants. It also will reduce hydropower production, due to the drought, propose another $900 million to establish an electric ratepayer relief fund, and $2.827 billion in pending budget appropriations to increase clean-energy incentives funding and programs.
In response to these proposals, nine Central Coast mayors drafted a letter to Gov. Newsom to create a “unified voice” and share requests to be included in any legislation relating to Diablo Canyon.
The mayors of Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Lompoc. Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Maria outlined nine points in their letter, the first emphasizing safety for their communities.
Additional points included making the license extension a limited-term with sufficient replacement energy, investment in renewable energy, use of local labor, safe solution for long-term storage of spent fuel stored at the facility, and land preservation.
“We urge the Governor’s Office to partner with our region and invest in renewable energy opportunities now and remove regulatory barriers that hinder the deployment of renewable energy such as wind, solar, geothermal, battery storage, etc.,” the mayors’ letter reads. “These opportunities include our Clean Tech Innovation Park Concept with Cal Poly as well as the development of offshore wind in the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area.”
District Representative Greg Haas with Representative Salud Carbajal expressed the legislator’s support.
“Congressman Carbajal believes strongly there is a resolution that can be reached on this issue that does not jeopardize California’s energy reliability, nor endanger future clean energy ventures that we have on the way here on the Central Coast, like the first-in-the-West offshore wind project, which is slated for lease sale off the Morro Bay coast later this year. … If there is a change to the last sunset agreement, it should not be at the detriment of future clean energy projects that literally cannot get online without the eventual closure of Diablo Canyon,” said Haas.
Diablo Canyon currently generates about 8.6% of the state’s total electricity supply and is the state’s last remaining nuclear power plant.
Public comment is being encouraged at this time and will be accepted through August 31.