AES Southland, the parent company of the AES Redondo Beach power plant, announced Tuesday that it has filed an application with the California Energy Commission to repower the aging power plant along Harbor Drive.
The application to repower was initially delayed by AES back in September in order to make modifications to the plant's design.
"As we have been working on the final details, we have made significant enhancements to our design," AES representative Clarissa Cordova said in an email to Patch. "We have fully enclosed the plant and are especially pleased to be able to preserve the iconic Whaling Wall...All of these refinements result in a plant that is quieter and a better fit for the community."
According to Cordova, the California Energy Commission will now begin a process to determine if they should formally review the project. If it is found that the application contains enough information to move forward, the application will be deemed "data adequate" and a public review process will begin, Cordova said.
If all goes as planned, Cordova said the first public hearing is expected to occur at some point in the first quarter of 2013.
AES said that the the new plant will be a smaller, cleaner and quieter version of the plant that currently occupies the space near the Redondo Beach Marina.
Opponents of the power plant argue that the new plant will run more often, emit higher amounts of particulate pollution and depress property values in the area.
In an effort to prevent a new plant from being built, the political group No Power Plant was successful in petitioning enough signatures to get an initiative on the March ballot that, if approved, could potentially make the power plant incompatible with the site's zoning laws.
On November 6, the Redondo Beach City Council voted unanimously to have the city clerk prepare a resolution to put on the initiative on the March ballot.
For those interested in reviewing AES Southland's submitted application, they can do so by visiting www.energy.ca.gov, clicking on the "Power Plants" tab, then look for the "Redondo Beach Energy Project" in the alphabetical listing.