California governor offers $1.4 billion loan to keep nuclear plant open

California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 9, 2022. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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Aug 12 (Reuters) – California Governor Gavin Newsom is offering to give PG&E Corp (PCG.N) a $1.4 billion government loan to extend the life of a nuclear power plant he operates for up to a decade as the state seeks to shore up electric reliability while moving away from fossil fuels, his office said Friday.

The proposal, which is expected to be introduced as a bill in the state legislature, is the latest in a series of steps California has taken this year to reconsider its 2016 decision to retire the Diablo Canyon power plant. by 2025. read more

California wants to produce all of its electricity from clean sources by 2045, but has faced challenges with the transition, such as blackouts during a heat wave in 2020.

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“The governor supports keeping all options on the table as we develop our plan to ensure reliable power this summer and beyond,” a spokesperson for his office said. “This includes consideration of a time-limited extension of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP), which continues to be an important resource as we transition from fossil fuel generation to greater amounts of power. own.”

Under Newsom’s proposal, the state’s utility regulator would delay Diablo Canyon’s retirement to between 2030 and 2035. The expansion may require regulatory action by agencies, including the water control board state and its land commissions, utilities and coastal services, but this would exempt them from complying with certain environmental laws. It would also clarify that no coastal development permits or additional studies need be carried out by the Coastal Commission.

The proposed bill would also authorize a loan of up to $1.4 billion to Diablo Canyon owner PG&E to cover license renewal costs. Diablo Canyon’s current federal licenses expire in 2024 and 2025.

PG&E is also asking for separate federal funds as part of a $6 billion U.S. Department of Energy program to save nuclear plants that need to be taken out of service. Read more

“We are proud of the role DCPP plays in our state, and we stand ready to lend our support in the event of a change in state policy, to help ensure grid reliability for our customers and all Californians at cost. as low as possible,” said Lynsey, a PG&E spokesperson. Paulo said in an emailed statement.

The Biden administration has pushed to revitalize the waning nuclear industry as part of a plan to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, though just under half of Americans support the plan. nuclear energy to generate electricity, according to a June Reuters/Ipsos poll. Read more

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Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Aurora Ellis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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