San Luis Obispo, Calif. -- Pacific Gas and Electric will shut down California’s last operating nuclear plant by 2025 and make up the difference with renewable energy and energy efficiency, according to a landmark agreement announced today by PG&E, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment California, IBEW, Coalition of California Utility Employees, and the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility.
“We’re thrilled to be part of this historic agreement to foreclose on the dirty, dangerous energy of the past and widen the door to the clean, renewable power that must be part of our future,” said Dan Jacboson, state director of Environment California.
According to the agreement, PG&E will not try to renew licenses-- currently scheduled to expire in 2024 and 2025-- for its two nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon near Avila Beach, about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Under a plan developed with the agreement’s partners, the utility will replace power from the Diablo Canyon plant with renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage. PG&E also commits to derive 55 percent of the electricity produced across its fleet from clean, renewable sources by 2031.
The agreement also contains provisions to protect the Diablo Canyon workforce and the community of San Luis Obispo. PG&E will negotiate with the unions to provide an employee severance program and retraining for those employees involved in the decommissioning process, and compensate San Luis Obispo County for losses of property taxes through the transition period.
“To create the most homegrown jobs and reduce the most pollution, we need to move away from lumbering, inefficient baseload plants toward more clean, distributed generation like rooftop solar,” said Jacobson. “As this agreement shows, PG&E knows that clean energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage are all in the best interest of their customers today and our kids’ health tomorrow.”
“Today’s agreement is a good example of how we can replace dirty energy with clean when we set our minds to it,” said Rob Sargent, Energy Program director at Environment America. “It’s this kind of commitment that will put us on a path to 100 percent renewable energy.”