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

California Commission Determines Diablo Canyon Power Plant Needed to Support Grid Reliability

March 2, 2023
The SB-846 requires the CEC to provide a strong reason for the extension, which would enable California to reduce dependency on natural gas and rely more on clean resources.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has given a green light to a staff study that suggests the state extend the operation of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) through 2030 to ensure grid reliability. The license to operate DCPP expires in 2025.

The CEC’s approval comes on the back of official data revealing that California is at risk of energy supply shortage during extreme weather events. The Diablo Canyon, which is operated by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), supplies around 17% of the state’s zero-carbon electricity and 9% of overall electricity.

The SB-846 requires the CEC to provide a strong reason for the extension, which would enable California to reduce dependency on natural gas and rely more on clean resources.

California is investing heavily in building out clean energy capacity, the CEC report states. The CEC has also approved a $1 billion Clean Energy Reliability Investment Plan for clean energy resources as required by the state legislation.

The plan emphasizes funding for efforts and expediting the deployment of clean energy resources, support demand response, assist ratepayers, and increase energy reliability.

In 2021, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) ordered the state’s investor-owned utilities to bring 11,500MW of new clean electricity resources on-line from 2023 to 2026. Recently, the CPUC ordered an additional 4,000MW of new clean energy capacity between 2027 and 2028.

However, supply chain disruptions owing to the lingering pandemic continue to slow down the projects.

To overcome the challenges, the CEC, CPUC, ISO, and Governor’s Office have significantly increased coordination to track new clean energy projects under development through the Tracking Energy Development Task Force.

In addition, Governor Gavin Newsom also signed Assembly Bill 205 (Committee on Budget, 2022) which has simplified authorization approach at the CEC to provide a timely and efficient permitting process for non-fossil fuel, clean energy projects.

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