SAN LUIS OBISPO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric has agreed to pay $85 million to neighboring cities and a school district affected by the closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, the California utility announced Monday.
The state’s largest utility reached a deal to provide economic support in the region when the Central Coast plant shuts down in 2025, depriving the area of property taxes and potentially affecting local businesses through the loss of plant workers.
The agreement includes San Luis Obispo County, a coalition of local cities and the San Luis Coastal Unified School District. Another part of the deal involves promises to environmental groups and to unions representing plant employees. The deal needs approval from the California Public Utilities Commission.
Diablo Canyon is California’s last operating nuclear generating station. Its twin reactors hug a Pacific Ocean bluff midway on the coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
However, PG&E and environmental groups agree that California no longer needs the electricity from Diablo Canyon, given increased energy efficiency in the state and the growing availability and affordability of solar and wind power and other renewable energy.
PG&E President Geisha Williams has said the utility could pivot to wind, solar, biomass, geothermal or hydropower to replace the energy Diablo Canyon currently provides — about 9 percent of the state’s power.