Regulators Catch Flak for Gas

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California Public Utilities Commission proposals to ensure California has adequate resources to maintain grid reliability when the 2,200 MW Diablo Canyon nuclear plant is retired in 2025 is getting pushback as both options include gas-fired generation. One partially replaces the lost nuclear capacity with 1,000 MW-1,500 MW of new gas-fueled capacity, while the other option adds 500 MW of gas. Meanwhile, more than 3,700 MW of gas-fired generation capacity (equivalent to 622 MMcf/d) is scheduled to retire in the next few years, pushing regulators to look for alternative sources of energy. These proposals are part of a larger 11.5 GW package that would bolster the grid after Diablo Canyon is retired. Including gas generation in both proposals is "disappointing, but not unexpected," said Michael Colvin with the Environmental Defense Fund. "The longer we keep these legacy fossil units on line, the harder it is ... to fully decarbonize the California economy."

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