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Letter: AES Redondo Necessary for Community's Future

Because of issues with San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, the future AES Redondo Beach will be necessary, the president of Southern California Edison says in a presentation.

Editor's note (Oct. 18): The event mentioned in the letter below was not, in fact, sponsored by the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce as stated previously. The breakfast was a regular event put on by Southern California Edison. This has been corrected in the letter to the editor below.

The guest speaker Wednesday's breakfast meeting sponsored by Southern California Edison was Ron Litzinger, the president of SCE. He left no doubt that the proposed AES power plant was necessary and inevitable in the future of our community.

The necessity is punctuated by the fact that the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station will not return to production for an unforeseen time. Only generator No. 2 is even being considered for a five month test run in current plans. And that, only if approved by the Atomic Energy Commission, and others in the field.

The president of SCE was succinct in stating that all of the coastal generators are required to preclude shortages during the summer months, until other means of generation are developed. I think that this information makes the initiative discussion irrelevant.

I am in the real estate development business, and I am encouraged by the project ideas that I know to be considered by AES. Developer Wayne Ratkovich and architect Stanton Ekstut have made very impressive presentations to AES. I look forward to seeing what they can propose for the surplus land.

Steve Deming
Redondo Beach

Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views of Redondo Beach Patch. Letters must be less than 500 words and are subject to editing for space, spelling, style, punctuation and grammar. Also, anonymous letters will not be published, so remember to include your real name. You can email your letter to Redondo Beach Patch editor Nicole Mooradian at nicole.mooradian@patch.com.

sheri patterson October 18, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Greed Energy AES and SCE say this plant is necessary? And this a surprise? Same old rhetoric that every state agency (not "for-profit" companies) 100% contradicts in every report put out, and that is with San Onofre down. Since when do "for profit" companies tell the truth on an issue impacting their business or revenue? JP Morgan/Chase just got busted for ripping off California rate-payers-- millions of dollars!! And guess who'll pay for that? Tax payers. Guess what AES & SCE don't want residents to understand? That having too many enormous power contracts when unneeded, only cost ratepayers more. Who do you think is going to foot the bill for this? AES has been laughing all the way to the bank ever since they took part in helping Williams Co manipulate Calif's energy market and artificially drove up prices, a scam that cost our state billions of dollars. The feds have taped phone conversations of Eric Pendergraft on this case. This campaign is going to be about whether residents do their HW. Because for those that do not, they will be the victims that enable AES to once again dupe this city. Again, if you look at the reports & statements by the CEC & the ISO, the 2 agencies responsible for grid reliability & future energy demand, AES RB can retire with zero impact. If they change their mind, then let them override the initiative.. simple. AES Proj Mgr is a Director for the Chamber and they're a platinum Chamber sponsor!! Hello? One more 100% biased organization!
sheri patterson October 18, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Isn't it interesting that the Chamber has never considered inviting any of their local business members to come hear the 'other side' of this critical issue? Local residents armed with research, reports and data that could empower voters/businesses to hear both sides...and from sources that have NO financial gain on the issue. The Chamber is merely an extension of AES and I wouldn't be surprised if members begin to drop their membership in disappointment.
Fred Reardon October 18, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Let the propoganda begin. These special interests do not get to decide where the power comes from.
L. Campeggi October 18, 2012 at 12:55 AM
The AES and SCE Kool Aid gets thicker by the minute in Redondo Beach! Perhaps they're gearing up to be serving more of it, masquerading as that supposed oil lurking beneath the property that we should all be drooling over drilling for. These "for-profit" vultures take their profits elsewhere, and leave the blight and pollution here, at the taxpayers expense. I can hear Pendergraft now, "Please, Chamber of Commerce, it's the cars that cause the pollution. Not us! Please, let me tell you how and why Redondo voters think and act, even though I'm not one of them. Please, those 9,500+ people who signed that silly little initiative in 40 days means nothing, nor do those 7,468 valid signatures mean anything either. I know. I'm Eric Pendergraft, and I'm asking for your stupidity...uh, I mean support."
Jim Light October 18, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Steven Greenlee, a spokesman for the CAISO, stated: "Chapter three of our 2011/12 Transmission Plan and our testimony at the Long Term Procurement Proceeding at the California Public Utilities Commission show that if about 2,400 MW of generation in other locations, like Alamitos and Huntington Beach, is repowered, then we may not need Redondo Beach. " AES has applied to rebuild their Huntington Beach plant at 900MW. They have submitted a plan to the State Water Resources Control Board to rebuild their Alamitos Plant at 2,000 MW. The CAISO has deemed Huntington a "Reliability Must Run" plant and the AES Alamitos plant was deemed critical as well. None of the CAISO analyses have deemed Redondo "critical". And as you can see by the statement above, with AES planning to rebuild Huntington and Alamitos at a total of 2,900 MW, there is 500MW in excess of the CAISO's stated capacity requirement. This also ignores that three new plants will be adding another 1,900 MW of new power generation to our part of the grid next summer. SCE was most likely referring to the short term need for next summer. After the new power plants are online next year, the Redondo plant is irrelevant. Our Chamber is conflicted. AES is a platinum sponsor. The evidence clearly shows AES Redondo is not critical to our grid reliability
Wolfman October 18, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Like I said before you can't trust any power, utility, or oil company all you have to do is look at the corrupt L.A. D.W.P. and Edison and AES are not far behind.
Kelly Sarkisian October 18, 2012 at 05:45 AM
Has anyone answered this question? If the power plant is unnecessary, then why does AES want to keep it? It would be foolish to rebuild an unnecessary plant if there wasn't profit to be made. I guess it's a difference of opinion. AES is willing to risk millions to rebuild, that says a lot about the necessity of the plant.
Jim October 18, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Why has AES let this plant languish for all these years? They just don't want to give up what they have and any keep control and deductions and tax shelters.
Jim Light October 18, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Yes, we've answered that many times. Since the artificial power shortages of the early 2000's, the state processes are geared toward approving excess capacity. We know of only one case where the CEC disapproved a power plant without local opposition. AES gets paid not to run right now. And guess who foots the bill for unneeded, excess capacity?
L. Campeggi October 18, 2012 at 08:27 PM
AES is spending thousands, trying to lull all of Redondo Beach into a false sense of insecurity. SCE is all too happy to participate in the ride. Had AES and the Redondo Chamber Board wanted the Chamber membership to know the REAL and ENTIRE picture, they would have invited the CEC and CAISO to address the same group simultaneously. The CAISO is the regulatory agency who assesses, recommends, determines and projects the current and future electricity requirments of the state of California. The CEC is the regulatory agency who grants or denies electricity-generating station permits. And yes, the CEC can override city zoning to approve a power plant, but rarely does so, and won't do so with heavy opposition in an area where it is not needed, like right here in Redondo Beach. The issue is complex, but this part of it is really easy to understand.
John Parsons October 18, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Sheri: Thanks for your concern about the Chamber. The author of the letter was incorrect about the involvement of the Chamber in yesterday's breakfast. The breakfast was put on by Southern California Edison to meet with business leaders and major energy users from around Edison's service territory to give a regular update on Edison's goal of providing " safe, reliable and affordable" energy to their customers. I've attended many of these breakfasts over the years, this one happened to be in Torrance.
L. Campeggi October 18, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Well, well, well ... thank you John Parsons for setting the record straight about the author of THIS letter getting things wrong! Steve Deming, while you're entitled to your pro-AES stance, posting this inaccuracy about who sponsored the meeting and why does a disservice to the members of the community. I suppose we should be glad as this is another sampling of a pro-AES person who can't get things straight, demonstrating that whatever you write is not credible, and not to be believed.
Bob Boren October 19, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Kelly, as you seem to understand, common sense does actually matter, even though many people on this board tend to ignore it. The anti-AES folks just don't think things through. AES has only one reason to spend money on this plant. They think it will make them money. Selling a product that isn't needed doesn't usually get you that. I think Light and his lackey Patterson actually think that the "evil" AES just want to enjoy watching our kids running around Redondo Beach with gas masks on. Scare tactics like they spew are a perfect tip off. These folks always complain that I won't focus on refuting their "facts". I will never attempt that, because their "facts" are just an attempt to distract. They don't matter. They aren't the POINT. I've made my reasons for being pro-business in Redondo Beach quite clear. I've made my reasons for not participating in the discussions by their "rules" quite clear as well. I know what they are trying to do with their "facts", and I'm not going to let them bully me with them. Yeah, I come on strong sometimes. So what. You have to do that with these statist/progressive types, or they will walk right over you. Go study Howard Jarvis....sometimes you have to take the verbal gloves off to make your point. Jarvis knew he was swimming up stream when he was fighting for Prop 13. Some of the same types of organizations that Light relies on were flooding the airwaves with all kinds of "facts" to convince people that Prop 13 would lead to doomsday. LOL.
Jim Light October 19, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Once again, Bob Boring, spouts off with no facts. AES is making money right now on a plant that runs at 5% of its capacity. Guess who pays for it, whether it runs or not? We do. This is not higher math Bob, so I think you should be able to get it. Could another plant pick up this 5% load? Yes. This is simple evidence that the state contracts for more power than it needs. So will AES make money at their plant if they build it? .... yes if they also get a long term contract (which is what AES states in their plan). Do we rate payers actually need the power from a new power plant in Redondo? That answer is "no" and that based on that pesky data and those darn facts that Bobby keeps whining about. But if you read the quote from the CAISO rep above, you will see this is not just a "Jim Light" opinion. And guess what, we will pay for this excess capacity as well. So Bob, I tried to keep it down to your level. It is not rocket science.
Jim Light October 19, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Oh and I forgot, Bobby. I don't think the California Energy Commission and the California Independent Systems Operator weighed in on Prop 13. That is where I get most of my data.... along with environmental reports produced by AES themselves and financial reports and analysis from the City of Redondo. I don't think they weighed in on Prop 13 either. You're getting way out there, even for you Bobby.
Concerned Citizen October 19, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Just curious but am I the only person who noticed that you said the CPUC stated: "MAY not be necessary" and the additional word "IF 2400 MW repowered"? Sounds like a lot of uncertainty from people who are so adamant that the Redondo power plant isn't necessary. Now I did run searches on both the CEC (Calif Energy Commision) and Ca ISO websites to find out if the plant truly isn't needed and here's what I came across: CEC- Stakeholder Case Study 8/16/2007: 3,540 MW needed in case of a SONGS (San Onofre Nuclear Gen Station) outage in 2012 and 8,000 MW by 2020 By my calculations 3,540 and 8,000 are both greater then the proposed 2,900 at Huntington and Alamitos that you brought up Ca ISO- I looked up and read the Chapter 3 2011-12 Transmission Plan and then delved into the case study involving 1 SONGS reactor (case G-1) down and 2 SONGS reactors (case G-2) in which the CaISO states that to mitigate a situation like this increased generation in the LA Basin is REQUIRED (look on pg. 179 of the report or slide 189) and in the Key Conclusion section 2.7.7.5 located on pg 184 of same report or slide 194 of the power point presentation bullet 5 states "dispatch the generation in Southern California in accordance with established minimum generation requirements to preven system instability following a San Onofre G-2 contingency." Now it looks to me like Unit 3 at San Onofre is gone forever due to a damaged unit, and Unit 2 might not come back depends on what the NRC says.
Jim Light October 19, 2012 at 09:56 PM
The one report you cite is way old (2007). The update August 20 update to the 2013 Transmission Plan (without SONGS) shows the Western LA Basin with Excess capacity (they reduced need by about 1GW based on updated consumption data. It showed a deficit in the wider LA basin until the three new plants come online - Sentinel, NRG El Segundo and Walnut Creek (City of Industry). To make it through that time period they are making some upgrades to transmission and converting two old units at Huntington to syncronous condensors (acting like giant spinning capacitors). The problem isn't the LA basin, it is keeping voltage up for the Orange County. That is why the Huntington generators are being converted. For the LA Basin looking forward: If you take SONGS out permanently, take out AES Redondo and add the plants that are currently in process and scheduled to be online by 2021, you have 1.1GW of excess capacity in the worst case and over 4.8 GW of excess capacity in the "Energy Efficiency Case".
Jim Light October 19, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Currently in the LA Basin, 3.2GW of new power generation is underconstruction; 1.3GW is approved and in pre-construction, and 1.4 GW of new power generation is under review. 500MW of that is the rebuild of the active units at Huntington... the rest is new generation not currently on the grid. This over 5.4GW of new power in the pipeline. Current LA Basin Capacity is 9.9 GW (including AES Redondo but excluding all San Onofre). That gives us over 14GW of generating capacity in 2021 without SONGS and without AES Redondo. Worst case contingency need in 2021 for LA basin is just under 13 GW. The CEC thinks this is way too conservative so they made the CAISO run a more realistic projection accounting for energy efficient buildings and appliances and taking flex management into consideration. In that case the 2021 projected need is just over 9.2GW. Actual numbers from 2012 show that the CAISO projections for this time period from as late as last year significantly over predicted the need even though this was a hot summer.
Jane October 20, 2012 at 01:00 AM
"This also ignores that three new plants will be adding another 1,900 MW of new power generation to our part of the grid next summer." Those plants are already in the CAISO baseline, so those MW are assumed already built before the CAISO 2400-3800 MW need forecast.
Jane October 20, 2012 at 01:01 AM
By the way, what if Huntington Beach or Los Alamitos joins the Redondo NIMBY crowd? Then what. Also, since Rep Waxman clearly said he doesn't support the initiative, doesn't that carry weight?
Jane October 20, 2012 at 01:02 AM
GW? Give me a break. Use MW like everyone else, including CASIO.
Jim Light October 20, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Jane, Sorry, it's the engineer in me coming out. 1,000 MW = 1 GW. So long as all the numbers use the same units, all you have to do is compare the numbers directly.

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