PG&E won’t contest ruling on joint proposal to close Diablo Canyon
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced Feb. 9 that it would accept a regulatory ruling on its plan to close the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant and did not plan to appeal a decision that denied $85 million in impact mitigation funds for the community.
The approval by the California Public Utilities Commission in January lays out a plan to close the last nuclear power plant in the state by 2025 and allows the utility to raise rates on its customers to recoup around $241 million in decommissioning costs.
In accepting the decision, PG&E said it will now withdraw an application it had filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to renew its licenses for the facility, which expire in 2024 and 2025.
An $85 million settlement between the utility and impacted San Luis Obispo County groups was not approved as part of the CPUC ruling, which said it did not have the authority to raise energy rates to replace the loss of tax revenue.
The funds were earmarked to support essential services through the decommissioning process and set up an Economic Development Fund.
PG&E and stakeholders in San Luis Obispo County, including state legislators Jordan Cunningham and Bill Monning, have said they are working on a bill that would enable the utility to pay for the settlement through rate increases.
In its statement Feb. 9, PG&E announced that it planned to convene a community engagement panel to communicate information about the decommissioning and consider future uses for the site, which sits on around 1,000 acres along 14 miles of coastline in SLO County.
Replacement energy for the plant also should not increase greenhouse gas emissions, the CPUC said in its ruling. PG&E said that customers will see an average rate impact of less than half a percent per year through around 2025, and it does not believe that long-term customer rates would increase as a result of the decision to close the plant.
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