Home California Legislature Approves Sen. Dodd’s Bill to Avoid Blackouts

Legislature Approves Sen. Dodd’s Bill to Avoid Blackouts

Press Release

by ECT
Senator Bill Dodd

SACRAMENTO – Responding to the need for more reliable zero-carbon energy as California faces increasing strain on its electricity grid, the Legislature approved a bill from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, to extend the life of the state’s only nuclear power facility at Diablo Canyon, preventing energy disruptions and ensuring affordability for ratepayers.

“This bill is an essential step toward preventing rolling blackouts and increased electricity prices we would pay if forced to buy electricity from out-of-state, dirty carbon-emitting sources,” Sen. Dodd said. “We need to have this option available to keep the lights on and keep making progress towards net-zero carbon emissions. Blackouts are a real threat and pose economic, health and safety risks, especially for the most vulnerable Californians. I thank Gov. Newsom and the Legislature for advancing this bill, which will lead to greater investment in clean, renewable sources.”

Senate Bill 846, which was co-authored by Assembly member Jordan Cunningham, R-San Luis Obispo, had broad bipartisan support. It was backed by the Public Advocates Office, the California Independent System Operator, business and agricultural groups. It is also supported by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Diablo Canyon Power Plant supplies 17% of California’s zero-carbon electricity and more than 8% of its total electricity. The bill authorizes the extension of its sunset date by up to five additional years and seeks to make the power plant eligible for federal funding. Towards that end, the bill allows up to a $600 million loan to the plant’s operator to continue operations of the plant. The loan is contingent upon California qualifying and receiving federal reimbursement. The bill contains significant protections for taxpayers and ratepayers, including prohibiting loan funds or energy revenue from profiting the plant operator’s shareholders, and instead credits market revenues back to ratepayers. It also puts the state on track to wean itself off of the energy from the plant with significant renewable-energy procurement by investing $1 billion to support a Clean Energy Reliability Investment Plan to accelerate deployment of clean energy resources, demand response and reliability improvements.

The Public Advocates Office, the independent consumer advocate at the California Public Utilities Commission, wrote that it supports “the robust ratepayer protections in SB 846 (Dodd), the Diablo Canyon extension proposal, which would create both statutory and administrative checks and balances. More broadly, this proposal would improve reliability and minimize carbon emissions.”

SB 846 passed the Assembly early today with a bipartisan 69-3 vote and cleared the Senate 31-1.

Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.

You may also like