Utility, various groups delay Diablo Canyon joint proposal

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), along with labor and environmental groups, will delay for two weeks the planned July 28, filing with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) of their Joint Proposal to retire the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant and increase investment in renewables and energy storage by 2025.

The parties announced the two-week delay in a July 26 news release. Pacific Gas & Electric is part of PG&E Corp. (NYSE:PCG). Diablo Canyon is a two-unit pressurized water reactor (PWR) located in Avila Beach, California. The plant has a total generating capacity of more than 2,200 MW.

Diablo Canyon became California’s lone active nuclear station a couple of years back with the retirement of the Edison International (NYSE:EIX) San Onofre nuclear complex.

Parties to the proposal supported the short delay in order to continue ongoing talks with several stakeholders that have provided feedback on the proposal, including Community Choice Aggregation providers and local entities such as the County of San Luis Obispo and the San Luis Coastal Unified School District.

PG&E and the original parties are focused on a continued dialogue and exploring the issues raised in order to seek potential solutions that could be integrated into the filing with the CPUC on or before Aug. 11.

PG&E and the joint parties announced the Joint Proposal on June 21. Since that time, and in line with the company’s commitment to ensuring an open and transparent process, PG&E has hosted a public workshop for parties who formally engage in the CPUC intervenor process as well as four public information meetings (two in San Luis Obispo and two in South San Francisco) in which PG&E provided an opportunity for the public to ask questions and to comment on the Joint Proposal.

Under the terms of this Joint Proposal, PG&E will retire Diablo Canyon at the expiration of its current Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) operating licenses. The parties will jointly propose and support the orderly replacement of Diablo Canyon with GHG-free resources.

Recognizing that the procurement, construction and implementation of a greenhouse gas free portfolio of energy efficiency, renewables and storage will take years, the parties recognize that PG&E intends to operate Diablo Canyon to the end of its current NRC operating licenses, which expire on November 2, 2024 (Unit 1), and August 26, 2025 (Unit 2).

This 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.

The parties to the Joint Proposal are: 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 the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility.


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.