Temporary use of phased-out power plants could help keep the lights on

In summary

The state water board is considering a two-year extension for ocean-cooled power plants that are due to be shut down. Given the effects of the climate crisis, legislators should support it.

By Ron Miller, Special to CalMatters

Ron Miller is executive secretary at the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, [email protected]

The plan to do everything necessary to maintain reliable supply to California’s power grid is facing a parochial assault by local politicians in coastal Los Angeles County. They are working against the recommendation of California’s energy regulators to ensure the smooth transition from legacy energy sources to renewables. They should consider the potential consequences of their efforts.

For two days last August, an extreme but predictable heat wave ravaged the state and drew more power from California’s electrical grid than it could supply. The result was rotating blackouts. 

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