Tracey Adams, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

California Governor Signs Legislation to Extend Diablo Canyon Power Plant Operations

Sept. 12, 2022
Plant would serve as a reliable, low-cost, carbon-free bridge while state brings new renewable resources online.

Following approval by the California State Legislature, Governor Gavin Newsom last week signed Senate Bill 846 into law, seeking to extend operations at Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) in San Luis Obispo County for five years beyond its current license expiration in 2025. The plant, owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), would be used to improve statewide energy system reliability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while additional renewable energy and carbon-free resources come online.

PG&E must now obtain the necessary U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licenses, as well as other required state regulatory approvals. The law directs all relevant state agencies and PG&E as the plant operator to act quickly and coordinate on the necessary and prudent actions to extend plant operations.

The state will authorize a loan of up to US$1.4 billion to PG&E to support extending operations at the plant. The bill directs PG&E to take steps to secure funds from the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), and any other potentially available federal funding, which would be used to pay back the loan and lower costs for customers. PG&E has filed an application for federal funding through the DOE’s Civil Nuclear Credit program.

“PG&E is committed to California’s clean energy future. As a regulated utility, we follow the energy policies of the state. We are proud of the role Diablo Canyon plays in providing safe, reliable, low-cost and carbon-free energy to our customers and Californians. We will do our part to help the state achieve its energy reliability and decarbonization goals, while continuing to run one of the top performing plants in the country. The team of people at Diablo Canyon delivers for our hometowns every day through their industry-leading commitment to safe operations,” said Patti Poppe, CEOPG&E Corporation.

DCPP can generate 2200 MW of baseline electricity, and currently provides approximately 17% of California’s zero-carbon electricity supply and 8.6% of the state’s total electricity supply.

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