The California Public Utilities Commission will wait until next year to make a decision on PG&E’s application to shutter Diablo Canyon in 2025.
Director of CPUC’s News and Outreach Office, Terrie Prosper, said the commission has held the item from its Thursday agenda, when it was originally slated to make a decision. It will instead discuss it at its next meeting Jan. 11.
Prosper did not cite a reason for the delay, and did not responded to a request for further comment. Requests for comment from Commissioner Liane Randolph, who asked for the delay at the commission’s regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, were directed to Prosper.
“While we would have liked to have seen a decision this year on the DCPP joint proposal, we are nevertheless pleased that the commissioners are taking the time to thoughtfully consider this important agreement,” PG&E spokesman Blair Jones said Thursday. “PG&E and the joint parties strongly support all of the elements of the joint proposal that we put forth, and we will continue to advocate for approval of the entire agreement as we move into next year.”
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If the five-person commission, which governs utilities in California, follows precedent, it will likely approve the application per the recommendation of administrative law judge Peter Allen. He recommended approval of the application, with the caveat that ratepayers not pay for the anticipated $85 million settlement to San Luis Obispo County cities, school districts and the county.
Allen also recommended cutting the funding for PG&E’s proposed employee retraining and retention program from $350 million to $160.5 million.
County officials said they were optimistic after the commission delayed the decision on Thursday.
“Despite our radically diverse interests and viewpoints, a broad community and business coalition all came together and agreed that the proposal would help us protect local public health, safety and economic stability,” County Counsel Rita Neal said in a news release. “This continues to be our top priority. We will wait to move forward and when the commission reaches a decision, we will consider all of our options and next steps.”
PG&E applied in June 2016 to decommission the plant when licenses for its two nuclear reactors expire in 2024 and 2025.