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Organizations commit to conserving Diablo Canyon Power Plant lands

The Diablo Canyon Power Plant produces about 9% of the state's energy supply.
The Diablo Canyon Power Plant produces about 9% of the state's energy supply.

The local nonprofit REACH, or the Regional Economic Action Coalition hosted a virtual discussion Friday to announce the addition of three partners to their 2030 initiative.

The goal of the 2030 initiative is to create 15,000 jobs on the Central Coast to support the economy after the decommissioning of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in 2025.

The ytt Northern Chumash Nonprofit, The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo are all committed to conserving the land surrounding the power plant and repurposing its facilities throughout the decommissioning process.

These three new partners signed a memo of understanding to focus on the use of a specific 600-acre area of the power plant site known as Parcel P. Diablo Canyon lands encompass about 12-thousand total acres.

Some of the speakers included Central Coast Congressman Salud Carbajal and San Luis Obispo County Supervisors Lynn Compton and Dawn Ortiz-Legg.

Congressman Carbajal kicked off the discussion by emphasizing the need to support the local economy as the plant closes.

“Supporting our community through the closure of Diablo has been a top priority of mine since my first day in office,” Carbajal said. “Our challenge is to ensure a safe closure of the plant while investing in our local workforce by creating good paying, future-oriented jobs.”

Carbajal said he sees opportunity in the closure and is focused on securing federal resources to develop renewable energy, like offshore wind, on the Central Coast.

Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong spoke about the university’s goals to use the site for educational and research opportunities.

“We’re not only committed to developing world-class talent to drive the economy of the Central Coast and California,” Armstrong said. “But also to spurring innovation and teaming with industry and community partners to foster growth and reach new milestones.”

Armstrong said the university is working on plans to generate funding and investment opportunities for use of the site.

President of the ytt Northern Chumash Nonprofit, Scott Lathrop, said the organization is looking forward to the partnership.

“Ytt sees the MOU as a vehicle for the future of the Parcel P by developing economic opportunities for both our tribe and the greater regional community,” Lathrop said.

The signed Memorandum of Understanding is available to view on the REACH website.

Rachel Showalter first joined KCBX as an intern from Cal Poly in 2017. During her time in college, she anchored and reported for Mustang News at Cal Poly's radio station, KCPR. After graduating, she took her first job as a Producer at KSBY-TV. She returned to the KCBX team in October 2020, reporting daily for KCBX News until she moved to the Pacific Northwest in July of 2022. Rachel spends her off-days climbing rocks, cooking artichokes and fighting crosswords with friends.
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