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CPUC Decision Demonstrates AES Redondo Is Not Necessary

CPUC draft direction for new power contracts is easily met by other new power plants in the pipeline.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a draft decision on Dec. 21 directing Southern California Edison to issue long term natural gas power plant power procurement contracts for a minimum of 1,000MW and a maximum of 1,200 MW in the Western LA Basin (our part of the grid). This draft decision was made to support replacement of ocean water cooled power plants in the Los Angeles Basin. 

Ocean-cooled power plants at Alamitos, El Segundo, Huntington Beach, and Redondo Beach have provided over 4,900MW of generation capacity.   New State law requires these plants to significantly reduce their use of ocean water cooling.  Each plant has an assigned compliance date.  AES Redondo must comply by December 31st, 2020.  Power companies are pushing the CPUC to issue new long term contracts so they can commit to building new generation capacity to replace the ocean water cooled plant capacity that is needed.

In this decision, the CPUC is stating that the most replacement power they foresee needing from natural gas plants in the Western LA Basin is 1,200MW.  The El Segundo plant is already being rebuilt at 630 MW.  AES has applied to rebuild 939 MW at Huntington Beach. And AES has indicated they intend to rebuild Alamitos at its full 1,900MW capacity. These three plants would far exceed the 1,500 MW maximum set by the CPUC. This determination corroborates other state agency projections and corroborates BBR and independent consultant conclusions that power from AES Redondo is not required for future grid reliability. 

The California Independent Systems Operator (CAISO), who is responsible for grid reliability, projects that 2,400 MW of replacement generation capacity is required.  This is still far below the 3,400+ MW of capacity if El Segundo, Huntington, and Alamitos are rebuilt at the capacities cited above. AES agreed with the CAISO recommendations stating they calculate 2,300MW of replacement power required.  The CPUC agrees as well and assigns this need to renewable energy projects, energy efficiencies and demand response, other distributed generation and finally, between 1,100 and 1200 MW of natural gas power generation.

Of note is that CAISO, AES and CPUC all agree that the power generation requirement goes up if the replacement plants are not at an “effective” location on the grid, though they differ on the exact definition of “effective”. Previous ISO and CPUC documents have deemed El Segundo, Alamitos and Huntington as critical locations. AES Redondo is never mentioned as it is not located where it can address the most likely generation and transmission failures. This data shows that not only is power from Redondo Beach not required, it actually is undesirable because it would drive up the need for more natural gas power due to its poor location on the grid.

Yet another state agency document confirms what we’ve stated all along. We do not need power from this site. Since we don’t need the power, we should not have to suffer the negative health, environmental, economic impacts of this eyesore blighting our waterfront. 

Measure A gets rid of our unneeded power plant and its impacts on our community. Vote Yes on Measure A.

For more info, go to http://aesredondomustgo.blog.com/

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mike2 January 11, 2013 at 05:18 PM
Mr. Light. Excuse my mistrust, particularly with your statement in bold, as you are well known for untruthful and for taking statements way out of context and for bending the facts for political gain. Such being the case, would you please provide the name of the author of the quote in bold along with the author's title and what agency they work for and would you please provide the a link to the document where it can be found along with the page number. It's not that I don't believe you its just that, well, no that's exactly it, I don't believe you. Thank you
Alexander Starr January 11, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Mike2 - Now that Jim Light has once again, over and over (always politely), shown complete transparency and data source verification of his data, is that enough for you to stop your boring, mindless attacks? Yes, good, now beat it, anonymous internet troll.
Jim Light January 11, 2013 at 09:49 PM
Please highlight any instance where my data is untruthful. You claim it, but you have yet to point out any example. Read the CPUC Dec 21, 2012 draft decision 12-03-014. You will see multiple organizations testify about "effective" power generation as I state above. You will see that there is some disagreement on the exact definition, but all agree that ineffective location would artificially drive the need for more power plant without the actual user need going up. Then read the CAISO's August update to the 2013 transimission plan and you will see on page 4 that Huntington was deemed critical with San Onofre out. They approved conversion of two units to synchronous condensors to maintain voltage with San Onofre down. A recent FERC approval (January) okayed the negotiation with AES and their designation as "Reliability - Must Run" status. Then look at at Page 19 of the CAISO report and you will see Alamitos is critical. "The most critical single contingency for the LA Basin is the loss of Alamitos Unit # 5." I stand behind my statements and I put my real name to them.
Fred Reardon January 12, 2013 at 02:18 AM
Mike2 wants to pollute you. Say no way Vote yes on A. I'm doing a little jig while I say this over and over.
Kelly Sarkisian January 13, 2013 at 11:35 AM
Very adult of you to start with the name calling Alex. Seems that the no power plant folks are a little immature! Get over yourself Alex, name calling won't help your cause. Ps Alex, if your buddy wins, he can't hand you a cushy cabinet position so you can discontinue the Pom Pom stuff, its getting weird!
Jim Light January 13, 2013 at 02:31 PM
Wow Kelly, you really have a double standard. You have applauded power plant opposition whose only argument is name calling and denigration. And you have done it yourself. Your own post shows your own immaturity by your childish insinuation at the end. You should practice what you preach. Are you even registered to vote? I don't see your name on the voter lists.
orlando January 17, 2013 at 03:19 AM
Patch needs to stop giving Light free advertising by letting him write a column. This is patently offensive.
orlando January 17, 2013 at 03:23 AM
Please provide a citation for the statement "This data shows that not only is power from Redondo Beach not required, it actually is undesirable because it would drive up the need for more natural gas power due to its poor location on the grid." The CAISO actually said that the effectiveness for the west LA basin of all the AES plants is equal. Also, since the plant was 1500MW, and AES is proposing 500MW, it will drop gas demand from what the plan used before. A specific citation to the quote is required to believe it.
orlando January 17, 2013 at 03:28 AM
There is NO SUPPORT that Redondo is "ineffective". In fact, it is EFFECTIVE. The estimate of 2400 to 3700 MW by CAISO is 2400 (if AES units) and 3700 (if further away than those units) If you think your statement is accurate, provide a page and line citation from D.12-03-014 Proposed Decision to prove it. It's relatively easy to do if your statement is accurate. If it's not, then you won't be able to.
orlando January 17, 2013 at 03:39 AM
Just a little electric lesson, since you're so far not using statements accurately. The statement that Alamitos #5 is the single largest contingency suggests that you would NOT build more units there, and that instead, the grid SHOULD look elsewhere. Being the largest critical contingency, there's either TOO MUCH generation there or it's IN THE WRONG PLACE. Alamitos 5 & 6 are both the same size (meaning either could be critical contingency). If you want to fix the issue of Alamitos as a critical contingency, you build more generation that operates ELSEWHERE in order to relieve that condition. Huntington Beach appears headed to one 500 MW repower of old units 1/2 and a synchronous condenser using the rest of the site (old units 3/4). Since you wouldn't want to add to the contingency at Alamitos, that leaves El Segundo and Redondo. El Segundo is pretty much built out. That leaves Redondo for the rest of the 1000-1200 MW.
Jim Light January 17, 2013 at 05:00 AM
Orlando, Once again you've twisted the data. It is ludicrous to state that because Alamitos 5 has been deemed critical you should not replace it. What a joke. AES has submitted to rebuild all capacity at Huntington. The Synchronous Condensors are an emergency fix with San Onofre down because AES sold the pollution exemption for these two units to Walnut Creek and can no longer legally run those units. This emergency fix was required for next summer until brand new Sentinel, Walnut Creek and El Segundo plants come online adding over 1900 MW of new power to our part of the grid. For the long term, AES intends to move some of the the pollution exemption they have on Redondo boilers to Huntington so they can build to full capacity. If El Segundo, Huntington and Alamitos all get rebuilt per the current plans, this would replace over 3300MW of OTC power...far exceeding the 1000MW minimum and 1200 MW maximum approved by the CEC. Nice try Orlando.
Jim Light January 17, 2013 at 05:15 AM
"The lower end of the range for the four RPS scenarios corresponds to the amount of generation needed if it were located at existing OTC sites that are the most effective at mitigating the identified transmission constraint. The higher end of the range corresponds to the amount of generation needed if it were located at existing OTC sites that are the least effective at mitigating the identified transmission constraint." This quote ifs from the draft decision quoted in the article. When you look at the 2013 assessment without SONGS and you look at the effectiveness factor for the power plants, you will see Redondo is at the bottom of the list of effectiveness. Thus if you pick the less effective locations, you drive up the generation required for the same need. This obviously drives up prices. It is not rocket science Orlando. Alamitos and Huntington have been deemed critical. El Segundo is already being rebuilt. Retiring Redondo is the most logical path.
Jim Light January 17, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Orlando, The decision is not a technical document and does not give its analysis. However, if you look at the update to the 2013 transmission plant which evaluates the needs for next summer without SONGS you will find the effectivities listed for all power plants in the area. For LA Basin and the Western LA Basin, AES Redondo has a lower effectiveness factor than any other AES plant. Beyond that the document calls out AES Alamitos and Huntington as critical. And in January the FERC approved designating Huntington Beach a critical "Reliability - Must Run" plant. The evidence is all there in simple black and white, Orlando. You just don't like what it says.
Fred Reardon January 17, 2013 at 03:14 PM
The existing AES plant is not effective or they wouldn't be trying to build a new one. The new proposed power plant, which is not designated as "must run," will only be effective at producing more unnecessary pollution that can potentially harm nearby residents. The proposed new plant will also be effective in reducing our potential renewable energy, (clean electricity) portfolio in the state. The new proposed plant may also be effective in supporting the huge appetite for electricity that will be required by an aquatic life killing machine (desalination plant). If you don't want new unnecessary pollution, the associated harmful health effects related to a nearby toxic plume (think harmful micro particles), and an aquatic life killing machine in Redondo Beach, Vote Yes for measure A.
Fred Reardon January 17, 2013 at 03:27 PM
This is what's offensive… supporting an unnecessary new power plant, proposed by a company with a track record of gouging customers, which will pollute our families lungs for years and years.

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