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Redondo power plant run rate low again

Redondo power plant run rates demonstrate the plant is no longer needed.
Redondo power plant run rates demonstrate the plant is no longer needed.
The CEC just released the total 2013 run rate for the AES Redondo power plant.  In 2013, the Redondo plant produced just 2.58% of its annual capacity.  And that was with San Onfre Nuclear Generation Station offline all year.  The run rate is lower than in 2011 and 2012.  In fact, since 2005, the plant has averaged a 3.78% annual run rate.  We ratepayers have been funding AES to maintain a plant that is 96% unused.

These low run rates clearly demonstrate that we can permanently retire the Redondo plant without any negative impact to local grid reliability. 

A recent CPUC decision on how much power is needed to replace the San Onofre power plant corroborates this conclusion.  Earlier this month the CPUC published a draft decision that it would only allow a maximum of 1,500MW of new long term natural gas power contracts in our part of the grid.  This is bad for AES.  AES has applied to replace all three of its current ocean cooled power plants with a total of 3,300 MW of power capacity.  The CPUC decision means that, at best, if it wins all the competitive bids to supply power for the future, AES could only get a contract for 45% of their applied for capacity.  And their Huntington and Alamitos plants would be more efficient at answering the projected power needs in the absence of San Onofre.  

As more nails are driven into the coffin of the AES Redondo plant, it is time our city look at an integrated vision for our waterfront.  The City is in the process of trying to shoehorn 15 pounds of mall development into our 5 pound harbor.  That solution is bookended by two three story massive parking lots to house the 20,000 weekday car trips required to make the shopping center successful.  If the City takes a step back, and considers the opportunity presented on the AES property, I am sure we can come up with a solution that avoids overdevelopment of our harbor while generating sufficient investment and development across the combined sites to revitalize the waterfront.


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Kathryn M Wright March 03, 2014 at 02:52 PM
It is difficult to comprehend what has happened to the whole beach area since my full time there from 1946 to 1970. I cannot believe that if you do remove this blight that you can't have some foresight and realize that foresight is better than hindsight. There are so many optimistic people with their head in the clouds that they forget that their feet are on the ground. Saying that something will be there in 2027 is the most ridiculous forecast I've ever heard. However, since used battery store is no problem then what about other problems like rapidly increasing traffic and congestion that way? The area I grew up in, in North Redondo Beach was right next to Inglewood Avenue. And sometime around 1970 the powers that be decided that we needed to widen that corridor street from two lanes to a four lane hwy with something of a divider down the middle. They had to take out houses that were not ready for the wrecking ball. Then when it was decided that the school district needed funds they sold the state of the art high school to a business and kept the other high schools in tact. That was my high school that they took to the ground. Seems like with just a tiny bit of foresight readjusting to a time when we seem to have an abundance of ways to receive electricity according to your statistics we might be more than a little concerned about taking some of the last open land near the ocean and making it into essentially another extensive part of PCH beach cities. There used to be plenty of room for less population at the beach. Also do all the new medical facilities have the requirement of having their own generating capacity? Oh well. I'm not out to save the world I'm just out to see if some of the mistakes of the past don't need to be repeated into the future. As for having your cake and eat it too. Guess only if you are President of the United States of America these days you can do that. Or his wife?
Kathryn M Wright March 03, 2014 at 02:57 PM
I meant 2024 not 2027.
Jim Light March 03, 2014 at 05:05 PM
So far the CPUC and CAISO have consistently overestimated demand year, after year, after year. The actual usage has been drastically lower than that predicted. Their projections include two analyses that add demand to react to multiple contingency failure scenarios. They also add predicted residential and business growth. What they do not do is incorporate savings of more efficient buildings and appliances, or the predicted impact of distributed generation (rooftop solar). They also use 10 year worst case weather conditions and then they require a percentage of capacity over all that. So it is no wonder that we never actually need what their forecasts predict. If anything, I would say the CAISO/CPUC predictions are overly pessimistic worst case predictions and add way more margin than we would ever expect to materialize in the future. As to future uses of the site, if you followed Measure A, I support setting aside much of the site for recreational uses and open spaces. We will see what the City and AES bring forward in the future, but whatever it is, we will get to vote on it.
Fred Reardon March 05, 2014 at 04:34 AM
Mrs. Wright, Your Question: Can it be said "scientifically" that we would not have acid rain off balance ph levels in pristine high level elevation lakes, lung disease, pre-mature births, headaches, asthma, cancer, etc. etc.? This argument is very emotional but void of common sense. Answer: Yes, without fossil fuel burning power plants spewing additional particulate matter in the air we would greatly reduce these negative impacts. It's not emotional. For your convenience, here are some links to the aforementioned subject matter: http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/effects/forests.html http://www.policyalmanac.org/environment/archive/acid_rain.shtml Diseases/Health problems related to particulate mater: http://epa.gov/pm/health.html Your Question: If power plants are spewing this type of pollution this what are the occurences of death per 1000 locals and how come we have been extending the life expectancy rates over the past post WWII spread of life expectancy? Answer: Scientists have studied the effects of pollution and people have supported laws and regulations that have reduced negative impacts. Many of us believe we can do more. Humans naturally work towards making the world a better place. That is a good thing. Please consider embracing Ecology. Answer: Read "Health Effects" section: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particulates http://epa.gov/pm/health.html Your Statement: "All I see now in this south bay area is a need for reliable, stable, electricity producing power generation." Answer: Based on what? In addition to your common sense meter, please review the latest CPUC decision. Your Statement: "The fog from Prospect to the ocean would preclude this type of solar generating concept. Texas, yes, and maybe Germany too but what about France and all their nuclear power. If you want to debate based on non scientific emotional reasoning." Answer: No insult intended however, you absolutely have no idea what you're talking about. Suggestion: Get informed by reading the following: http://photon-international.com/photon/index.htm http://solartoday.org http://www.solarelectricpower.org http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_irradiance Summary: Before expounding, based on uninformed theories, please consider that you may influence others to support a power plant that could result in adverse health effects for many people living in close proximity to the proposed power plant. Thank you.
Mike Syi March 05, 2014 at 11:10 PM
The last thing California needs to do is sign a contract for energy that is not needed. California energy prices are very high when you look at our tier rates. Business will continue to leave to other states where energy costs are much less. With capacity factors this low it is clear this plant is not needed. Jim I like your way of thinking that is fact based not emotions.

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