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Local battery storage facilities proposed to help offset loss of Diablo Canyon Power Plant

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.

PG&E is proposing nine new battery energy storage facilities across the state and two of them are here on the Central Coast.

According to PG&E, the new battery storage facilities are meant to help further integrate renewable energy sources and improve grid reliability.

PG&E spokesperson Paul Doherty said the nine facilities would be able to house about 1,600 megawatts of energy.

“One megawatt could power about 750 homes," Doherty said. "You take that up to 1,600, you’re looking at millions of homes.”

Doherty said the proposal comes amid directives from the California Public Utilities Commission to help meet the state’s climate action goals.

“That’s really to meet California’s greenhouse gas reduction policies to replace electric generation from the expected retirements of southern California natural gas plants but also, importantly, PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Power Plant,” Doherty said.

Diablo Canyon in San Luis Obispo County is expected to be decommissioned in 2025. So the plant’s 2,500 megawatts of energy production needs to be replaced with renewables before then in order to avoid a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Doherty said these proposed battery storage projects will contribute to that goal.

“We’re gonna see these resources coming online but then we’ll see many more coming online in the years to come,” Doherty said.

Including these nine new projects, PG&E now has contracts for battery energy storage systems totaling more than 3,330 megawatts of capacity being deployed throughout California through 2024.

Two of the proposed facilities are here on the Central Coast.

The Caballero Energy Storage Project would be a 100 megawatt facility in Nipomo. The MOSS350 Energy Storage Project would be a 350 megawatt facility that would be an expansion of the existing 400 megawatt Vistra Moss Landing Battery Energy Storage Facility in Monterey County.

Assuming the CPUC approves the plans for the nine facilities, Doherty said the systems could start coming online as early as August 2023.

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.