The California Public Utilities Commission approved a plan for two utilities to fill the gap left when the 2,000-MW San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station shut down more than two years ago.
The CPUC ordered Southern California Edison (SCE) to procure between 500 and 700 MW, and San Diego Gas & Electric to obtain between 500 and 800 MW of generating capacity from preferred resources, such as renewable energy, demand response resources and energy efficiency, or energy storage. The utilities must procure the sources by 2022.
The latest order, in addition to prior CPUC decisions, brings a total of 1,900 to 2,500 MW from SCE, of which up to 60 percent must come from preferred sources. The rest is expected to come from new gas-fired generation. SDG&E must procure between 25 and 100 percent of new local capacity from preferred sources. SCE and SDG&E must also acquire at least 50 MW and 25 MW, respectively, from energy storage. The CPUC’s orders will offset the lost capacity from SONGS and help offset nearly 5,900 MW from once-through cooling power plants.
SONGS was shut down in January 2012 after workers found a small leak due to premature tube wear. The plant’s owners decided to permanently close the plant in June 2013 due to increasing costs to fix the damaged generators in both units.
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