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Pacific Gas & Electric discusses repurposing Diablo Canyon after plant is decommissioned in 2025

The virtual meeting discussed decommissioning, the potential repurposing of the land & the idea of developing offshore wind energy

The last nuclear power plant in California, Diablo Canyon, is set to be decommissioned by the year 2025. A virtual public meeting held Wednesday night, discussed what could happen to the land after the plant closes.

At a price tag of $3.9 billion, Diablo Canyon Power Plant will shut down, ending California’s reliance on nuclear energy in 2025.

Tom Jones, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Pacific Gas & Electric, said they are exploring ideas on repurposing the power plant area once that happens. 

“We are not developers, we are not real estate experts," Jones said. "So we’ve gone out to get professional help.”

With the plant sitting on 750 acres of coastline views, real estate potential is high. PG&E sought guidance from Richard Gollis with the Concord Group, who said around 145-165 acres of the land would be prime real estate for economic development. 

“We looked at the idea of RV camping, the reuse of the marina," Gollis said. "We looked at housing opportunities, as well as the component of workforce housing.”

Gollis said opportunities could include turning the oceanfront land into a resort, developing the marina for a boating area, and building workforce apartments.

“It does create more employment opportunities for the local workforce," Gollis said. "It can create better housing opportunities and hopefully expand the economy of the local market.”

Another idea is developing floating offshore wind turbines. Eli Harland, with the California Energy Commission, said floating offshore wind is an emerging technology, but one that could help with California’s climate and energy goals for renewable and clean energy.

“The height from the water to the top of the blade is close to 900 feet," Harland said "That’s taller than the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge from the top of the ocean. So when thinking about scale, these are very large projects.”

PG&E said these are just ideas being explored and the energy company will continue to seek community and stakeholder outreach through the year 2023.

Angel Russell is a former KCBX News reporter who started her career in journalism as a reporter and producer for KREX on Colorado's Western Slope; she later moved to the Central Coast to work for KSBY as weekend anchor and weekday reporter. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and playing guitar and piano.
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