In January 2012, AES Huntington shut down units 3&4 cutting power capacity from 880 MW to 430 MW. AES sold Units 3&4 to another power company, who will now get to use the air pollution exemption from those units at a new plant. AES is now planning to replace Units 1 and 2 to comply with new laws restricting the use of sea water for cooling. According to a public briefing in February 2012, AES reported these actions will reduce emissions over Huntington Beach.
Contrast this to AES Redondo Beach, where AES plans to build 630 megawatts of generating capacity and increase plant run times 300 percent to 600 percent. And if the new Redondo plant runs at 60 percent (the percentage other new power plants of this size are permitted for) the run time goes up 1,200 percent. No matter which scenario you believe, emissions will increase substantially over Redondo.
While Redondo’s power plant has incompatible high density residential, senior housing, hotel, business and recreational uses on four sides of its property lines; AES Huntington Beach is surrounded by:
- no development to the west,
- a wetlands to the south,
- an industrial warehouse complex to the east and
- a parking lot and dirt strip to the north
Why increase pollution at a plant tightly surrounded by incompatible uses and reduce it at a plant surrounded by open, unused space; other industrial uses; and a parking lot?
In Huntington, the nearest housing to the east is over 3,000 feet away... over half a mile away. It is zoned low-density at 7 units per acre. The worst case is a corner of a trailer park about 500 feet away. In their Redondo plan presented to City Council in November of 2011, AES showed the new power plant will be within 100 feet of business offices and a new retail building, which are right across the street from medium residential development at 17 to 34 units per acre. Hermosa Beach population density is over 13,700 people per square mile. Redondo Beach population density is nearly 10,750 people per square mile. Huntington Beach is just 6,000 people per square mile. Why decrease pollution over the lower populated area and increase it over the more densely populated area?
To add insult to injury, the study on Once-Through-Cooling Plants called out Huntington Beach power plant as required for future grid reliability, but did not call out Redondo as required. Now seven separate state studies show power from AES Redondo is not required. Why increase pollution at a plant that is no longer even needed?
Our City Council is twiddling their thumbs, conveniently slow rolling any action on the power plant. No action means we get a new power plant.
It is now or never.
Residents must act quickly if we are to stop AES from building a new power plant and spewing even more pollution over Redondo. If you want to free our waterfront from this uneeded, polluting, blighting eyesore; please donate to our efforts to phase out the existing power plant forever. You can donate online at www.nopowerplant.com.