The California State Water Resources Control Board is going to leave some natural gas plants open in an effort to provide power for state residents. However, the political class will only see this as a minor setback and the real problems will start when Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is shut down in five years.
California extends lives of aging gas plants as state seeks to prevent blackouts
by Abby Smith, Energy and Environment Reporter, Washington Examiner
California will keep four natural gas plants online for another few years instead of shutting them down, in an effort to guarantee the lights stay on as the state rapidly adds more renewable energy.
The decision, made unanimously Tuesday by members of the State Water Resources Control Board, comes just weeks after California grid operators imposed rolling blackouts on residents during peak electricity load amid a severe heat wave.
Republican politicians, including President Trump, were quick to blame the blackouts on California’s aggressive renewable energy and climate policies.
California energy officials have said renewable energy wasn’t the root cause of the blackouts. Nonetheless, the incident has sparked debate about California’s ability to ensure the power stays on as it shuts down gas and nuclear plants and replaces them with more wind and solar power.
“I’m a firm believer that we need to pay attention to the integrity of the grid. Because if we do not, we’re going to lose this whole green thing we’re doing,” said California Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell, a Democrat who represents Los Angeles harbor and parts of Long Beach.
“When people go to turn on their light switch, they need to know that those lights will go on,” O’Donnell added in remarks during the board’s Tuesday public meeting. “If they don’t, they’re going to get suspicious. They’re going to turn on our efforts to go green.”