Southern California Edison is retiring the San Onofre nuclear power plant. The plant has not operated since January 2012, when a radioactive leak was discovered in one of its generators. The permanent closure could put pressure on California's electrical grid in the long-term.
The California Independent System Operator, which manages the grid, does not expect statewide problems with power supply, though there could be impacts in Southern California as people crank up their air conditioners this summer.
“From an overall state, perspective I’m not concerned about energy, other than the local pocket in San Diego and south of Los Angeles,” said Steve Berberich of the California Independent System Operator, the entity that balances the state’s electric grid.
State energy regulators were already planning for the summer without the nuclear plant’s 2,000 megawatts of power. Several transmission corridors were improved so more electricity could be imported into the area and a handful of new power plants are expected to come online.
“We will get through this summer, assuming we don’t have any major catastrophes or fire,” says Berberich. “I think we can squeak by.”