CA utility PG&E is asking the feds to extend the life of nuclear plants
On Monday, PG&E Corp. has formally asked federal regulators to extend the life of Diablo Canyon, California’s last operating nuclear plant, as part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s efforts to improve the reliability of the power grid.
The state’s largest utility announced it has filed an application with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to extend Diablo Canyon’s license and delay the planned 2025 shutdown of San Luis Obispo County, which provides about 9% of the state’s electricity.
Newsom, reversing his earlier opposition to extending the life expectancy of Diablo Canyon, signed into law in September this will keep the plant open until 2030. The legislation also allows the state to loan PG&E up to $1.4 billion for upgrades needed to delay the plant’s closure.
The governor appealed to lawmakers to preserve Diablo Canyon to prevent blackouts. The power grid is increasingly dependent on solar power and other renewable energy sources. This makes it vulnerable to shortages during extreme heat waves, like the one in August 2020, when solar power fades in the early evening but temperatures remain high.
California narrowly avoiding a blackout in early September, shortly after Newsom signed the bill, during a series of 110-degree days.
PG&E decided to close the 37-year-old plant because it wasn’t performing particularly well as cheaper energy sources like wind and solar became more common. But the utility relented when Newsom demanded an extension. The governor’s aides told lawmakers that without Diablo Canyon, the state’s grid could become increasingly unstable.
“We are proud of the role Diablo Canyon plays in providing safe, reliable, low-cost and carbon-free energy to our customers and the people of California,” Paul Gerfen, the company’s chief nuclear officer, said in a statement Monday. “This request to renew our licenses is another step to help California reliably achieve its bold decarbonization goals.”
This story was originally published October 31, 2022 at 4:43 p.m.
Related stories from the Sacramento Bee
Carlyle seeks $700m over insurers’ failure to pay Russian plane seizures
Carlyle Aviation Partners, one of the world's largest aircraft leasing operators, is seeking $700 million from more than 30 insurers...
Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott are listing their California estate for $22 million
Make-up artist and reality show host Kylie Jenner, along with her partner rapper Travis Scott, listed their a lavish Beverly...
Biden Claims Oil Companies Are ‘War Profiting’ As He Introduces Windfall Tax
US President Joe Biden has accused oil companies of "cashing in" on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, threatening them with a...
How much does it cost to buy a home in east Elk Grove, CA?
The median price per square foot for a home in Elk Grove east of Hwy 99 fell last week to...
Scary ‘High Risk’ Momentum: Disney’s Power Drops
Disney World can be fun. I enjoyed it much more as a child. But I can't deny that Disney knows...
Deloitte taps US boss as global leader amid Big Four shake-up.
The head of Deloitte's US operations has been chosen as the next global boss of the Big Four accountancy firm,...