February 09, 2018 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the joint parties today announced they will not seek a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) rehearing on the Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) joint proposal decision, and in accepting the CPUC’s ruling to retire DCPP, PG&E will now withdraw its license renewal application at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
PG&E remains focused on safely operating DCPP to the end of its existing licenses, which expire for Unit 1 in 2024 and Unit 2 in 2025.
Today’s announcement comes after all the parties had the opportunity to confer following the CPUC’s January 11, 2018, vote on the DCPP joint proposal agreement.
In its decision, the CPUC approved several key elements of the agreement, including approval to cease plant operations once the NRC operating licenses expire. The Commission also authorized an employee retention program to maintain the plant’s highly skilled workforce to continue safely operating the facility, and expressed its intention to avoid any increase in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the closure of DCPP.
PG&E also announced today that it will now move ahead with establishing a community engagement panel to provide input from and disseminate information to the community to help inform the site-specific DCPP decommissioning plan. Among the areas that will be examined by the panel is the future use of the site and PG&E lands that surround the plant.
As for the remaining goals that were proposed in the original joint proposal agreement, including economic support for the greater San Luis Obispo County community and a specific plan for replacing DCPP with greenhouse gas-free energy resources, PG&E and the joint parties stated they are supportive of other pathways to achieve these objectives, including through existing CPUC regulatory proceedings and potential state legislation.
About the Joint Proposal
California’s energy landscape is changing dramatically. State policies that focus on renewables and energy efficiency, coupled with projected lower customer electricity demand in the future, will result in a significant reduction in the need for the electricity produced by DCPP past 2025.
Reflecting this change, PG&E partnered with labor and leading environmental organizations in 2016 on a joint proposal that would increase investment in energy efficiency and renewables while retiring DCPP at the end of its current Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) operating licenses, which expire in 2024 and 2025.
The parties to the DCPP joint proposal include PG&E, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, Coalition of California Utility Employees, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment California, California Energy Efficiency Industry Council and Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility.
Recognizing that the procurement, construction and implementation of a GHG-free portfolio of energy efficiency and renewables would take time, the joint parties agreed to support PG&E in obtaining the state approvals needed to operate DCPP to the expiration of its current NRC operating licenses.
This avoided an early shutdown of DCPP and associated negative economic and social impacts, including replacing the plant’s output required to meet customer demand with non-greenhouse gas-free resources.
The joint proposal also proposed support for a successful transition for DCPP employees and the greater San Luis Obispo County community.
The $85 million community impact mitigation program would support the community with its transition and provide funding to support essential public services that the plant and the local community rely upon.
The DCPP employee program would provide incentives to retain employees during the remaining operating years of the plant, and a retraining and development program to facilitate redeployment of a portion of plant personnel to the decommissioning project or other positions within the company.
PG&E does not believe long-term customer rates would increase as a result of the joint proposal.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Blair Jones, 415-973-5930