ORIGINAL REPORTING: The CA Plan To Replace Nuclear Power With New Energy
Anatomy of a nuke closure: How PG&E decided to shutter Diablo Canyon; In a policy environment that prizes renewables, PG&E saw no cost-effective route to keeping the giant nuclear plant open
Herman K. Trabish, July 7, 2016 (Utility Dive)
Editor's note: How this plan works will determine the future of the nuclear and New Energy industries.
One of the biggest tests of all time for renewable electricity was just proposed in California. The closure of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant will test whether the facility’s 18,000 GWh of yearly output can be replaced entirely by new zero carbon resources and reduced usage. Under PG&E’s retirement plan, the utility says it can make up the generation gap entirely with energy efficiency, renewable resources and energy storage, while costing customers less than continuing to operate the plant.
An unprecedented collaboration between PG&E, environmental advocates, anti-nuclear activists, and labor groups agreed on the closure. Their Joint Proposal details how California’s planners, regulators, and stakeholders can meet the test by working together to build the grid of the future. If approved by California regulators, the plan described by PG&E’s joint proposal will officially kick off when the operating licenses for the plant's two reactors expire in 2024 and 2025, respectively. It is a roadmap for how PG&E plans to procure enough renewables and reduce usage enough to replace the nuclear plant. Under the plan, PG&E would promise to obtain 2,000 GWh from efficiency by January 2025 and issue requests for offers for 2,000 GWh per year of greenhouse gas-free energy resources or efficiency by 2020…click here for more
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