Analysts, lawmakers, regulators react to San Onofre closure

Edison International (NYSE:EIX) subsidiary Southern California Edison (SCE) said June 7 that it plans to permanently retire both active units at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), removing 2,200 MW from the regional grid. Here are some of the notable reactions:

**”We have to examine Edison’s proposed path forward before we determine the impact on existing NRC adjudications, investigations and licensing actions. … I can say that we have cancelled the small group meetings that we had planned in California next week and we are looking for a venue to have a larger meeting in the vicinity of the plant.” NRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane.

** With the retirement, “we see upside to IPPs operating in SoCal, primarily NRG through its Encina unit (950 MWs) … We also believe this opens key repowering opportunities for AES’s Southland primarily, for either its Redondo Beach or Huntington Beach sites [although not before 2019].” – UBS Investment Research Analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith.

** “While this was a difficult decision—and substitute power may be more expensive for California ratepayers—I firmly believe this is the right thing to do for the more than 7 million Californians who live within 50 miles of San Onofre. There was too much uncertainty in restarting San Onofre at this time, and I commend Southern California Edison for selecting the safest option for Southern California.” – Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

** “Since San Onofre nuclear power plant went offline last year, energy utilities and the state have worked to provide Southern California with reliable electric power year round. At my direction, California’s top energy experts will continue developing a long-term plan that ensures there is reliability for decades to come. As we move into the hot summer months, we can all do our part by continuing to conserve.” —California Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr.

** “The California Energy Commission has been working with the Governor’s Office, the California ISO, and the California Public Utilities Commission to plan for this contingency so we would be able to maintain reliable power in Southern California while minimizing economic and environmental costs. The Energy Commission’s top priority will be working with our sister agencies on developing and implementing this action plan,” – CEC Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller.

** The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will decide “as quickly as possible, who should bear the costs of the lengthy outage of Units 2 and 3. The CPUC acted quickly last year to open an investigation into the outage, protecting ratepayers from unreasonable costs.” – CPUC President Michael R. Peevey.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.