Local congressman, White House announce $1 billion in funds for Diablo Canyon
Conditional award creates path for nuclear power plant to remain open
– On Monday, Congressman Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) and the White House, through the U.S. Department of Energy, announced the conditional selection of Diablo Canyon Power Plant, located near Avila Beach, to receive the first round of funding from the Civil Nuclear Credit Program.
“In the face of record heat waves and a deepening climate crisis, there is too much at stake for us to move backward in the fight to fully transition California away from polluting fossil fuels,” said Carbajal. “In the pursuit of that goal, our Central Coast community and I have understood the need to explore and support the safe and temporary extension of the lifespan of Diablo Canyon Power Plant. I am happy that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which I helped craft and get signed into law last year, is now providing California this support to maintain grid reliability while pursuing our goal of a net-zero power supply. While there are still remaining safety concerns that need to be addressed, including relicensing by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, these funds–when combined with the funds made available by the California Legislature–will help ensure Diablo Canyon can safely continue operations until our first-in-the-West offshore wind projects are ready to take its place at the end of this decade.”
“This is a critical step toward ensuring that our domestic nuclear fleet will continue providing reliable and affordable power to Americans as the nation’s largest source of clean electricity,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Nuclear energy will help us meet President Biden’s climate goals, and with these historic investments in clean energy, we can protect these facilities and the communities they serve.”
Units 1 and 2 at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant were scheduled to be decommissioned in 2024 and 2025, but today’s conditional award of credits valued at up to $1.1 billion, creates a path forward for Diablo Canyon to remain open. The final terms of the credits are subject to negotiation and finalization by the department of energy.
The award is funded by President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Carbajal helped craft and get signed into law last year as a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
“I welcome the news that the Department of Energy has awarded $1.1 billion to help keep the Diablo Canyon Power Plant open,” said U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (CA). “This short-term extension is necessary if California is going to meet its ambitious clean energy goals while continuing to deliver reliable power. I will continue to monitor this process to ensure thorough and rigorous safety and environmental reviews are undertaken at both the federal and state levels.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom released the following statement:
“Amid intensifying climate impacts in the West and across the country, California is focused on meeting our bold climate and clean energy goals while tackling the challenges of extreme weather that puts lives at risk and strains our grid.
“This investment creates a path forward for a limited-term extension of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant to support reliability statewide and provide an onramp for more clean energy projects to come online.
“I thank the Biden-Harris Administration for this critical support and the California Legislature for moving quickly to make this award possible. I look forward to our continued work together to build a clean, affordable and reliable energy future for our state.”