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Proposal: Replace SONGS's Nuclear Energy with Renewables

The Public Utilities Commission could vote on the plan as early as next month.

Now that SONGS is shut down, one proposal suggests using renewable sources to replace the energy it once produced. Photo courtesy of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
Now that SONGS is shut down, one proposal suggests using renewable sources to replace the energy it once produced. Photo courtesy of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Much if not all of the electric power once provided by the San Onofre nuclear power plant could be replaced with energy from non-fossil-fuel sources, according to a proposal being considered by the California Public Utilities Commission.

The procurement plan written by an administrative law judge is expected to be debated and possibly voted upon next month by the five-member commission, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Two principal partners in the shuttered plant -- Southern California Edison Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. -- would be required to procure at least 600 megawatts of power from so-called preferred resources, which include wind and solar power, energy efficiency programs, electricity storage systems and locally generation from roof-top panels, according to The Times.

However, the proposed decision also leaves the door open for utilities to purchase power from natural-gas-fired power plants if needed to provide reliability to the grid when renewables aren't enough, the newspaper reported.

Edison permanently closed San Onofre in June 2012 after concluding that it would be economically unfeasible to fix defective steam generators that had leaked small amounts of radioactivity.

--City News Service

Jay Berman February 14, 2014 at 01:04 PM
The steam generators should be replaced with natural gas boilers ... as most of the plant is fine, just no source of steam to turn the turbines ...

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