Pacific Gas & Electric Sept. 2 filed for federal funds to help keep its 2,200 MW Diablo Canyon nuclear plant running for another five years beyond its currently scheduled closure in 2025. The utility filed for assistance through the $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit program established under the sweeping federal Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. PG&E filed immediately upon enactment of SB 846, which makes up to $1.4 billion of state funds available to carry out the needed upgrades to lengthen the life of Diablo, the state’s last operating nuclear power plant. “I’m extremely pleased to see California extending the operation of Diablo Canyon,” said Katy Huff, assistant secretary of nuclear energy for the Department of Energy. “These reactors critically underpin our nation’s decarbonization goals and their 24/7 power will support grid stability for consumers in the state during our transition to net zero.” Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica blasted the plan to keep the plant open. “Allowing these nuclear power reactors to operate beyond 2025 exposes the surrounding communities and environment to serious risk while costing taxpayers and ratepayers potentially billions of dollars,” Pica said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 209, a sweeping budget trailer bill that aims to promote clean energy by making transmission, renewable energy projects, and carbon capture and storage projects eligible for funding through the California Climate Catalyst Fund. It also extends the sales tax exemption for projects that manufacture, refine, extract, process, or recover lithium, which is a key material used in energy storage batteries for electric vehicles and the power grid.