SDG&E revives plan for natural gas-fired power plant

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. said Tuesday it would revive plans to build a 300 MW natural gas-fired plant that had previously been rejected by the California Public Utilities Commission, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The utility decided to ask regulators to approve plans for the Pio Pico Energy Center after the permanent closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. Uncertainty of the future of the nuclear plant, which was shut down for 16 months before Southern California Edison announced it would be closed, was one reason for the proposal of the SDG&E natural gas-fired facility.

According to the Associated Press, SDG&E will ask for approval of the power plant next week. The commission, which initially rejected the plan last March, said at the time the cost of the Pio Pico facility was high for an insurance policy.

Public Utilities Commissioner Catherine J.K. Sandoval told the Associated Press the earlier rejection of the project didn’t take into account San Onofre’s closing, but did not comment on the merits of the renewed bid.

SDG&E announced yesterday that the electricity supply for the area would be adequate meet summer peak demands despite San Onofre’s closure, but said conservation and demand response would be vital during extremely hot weather, an unplanned power plant outage or transmission line emergency.

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