Power Plant Moratorium to Be Considered Tonight

If approved, the moratorium would most affect the application to rebuild the AES Redondo Beach Generating Station.

FILE PHOTO: AES Redondo Beach power plant. Photo credit John Schreiber.
FILE PHOTO: AES Redondo Beach power plant. Photo credit John Schreiber.

The Redondo Beach City Council will conduct a public hearing Tuesday night about a proposed temporary moratorium on building power generating facilities in the coastal zone—a move intended as an early step to prevent AES Redondo Beach from rebuilding its facility on Harbor Drive.

The hearing will occur during the regular City Council meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. in council chambers, located at 415 Diamond St. in South Redondo Beach.

The proposed moratorium would prevent the approval of permits relating to the construction, modification or alteration of any power generating facilities within the Coastal Zone. 

A moratorium is a step toward creating a conflict between local zoning and the application to rebuild a power plant. This conflict, if executed properly, would force the California Energy Commission to perform an analysis to determine if power from a proposed power plant is necessary before approving the application.

The current AES Redondo Beach Generating Station must be retired, rebuilt, retrofitted or receive a special exemption to continue operating past 2020 due to a ban on once-through cooling, where ocean water is used to cool the superheated steam that spins the turbines.

The new power plant, which would have less than half the generation capacity as the current one, would take up about 10 1/2 acres of the existing 50-acre site. If the plant is approved, construction and demolition of the old plant will begin in January 2016 and end by December 2020. 

The city of Redondo Beach unanimously voted to oppose the construction of a new power plant earlier this year.

Opponents of the new plant claim the power plant will pollute more than the previous one because it will run more often. They also say it will continue to depress property values in the area. 

Supporters of the plant argue that the power produced by the plant will be necessary in the future, and that the new plant would have a smaller footprint and free up land for other purposes.

On Tuesday night, the Redondo Beach City Council will also discuss funding for its intervenor activities in the California Energy Commission's application process for a new power plant on Harbor Drive.

Mike Syi December 03, 2013 at 08:42 PM
The way I see it that there is only upside for the city to tell AES no power plant. They want to burn tons of fuel in our city, make lots of cash and pay little taxes. Mr. Mayor time for Redondo Beach to play hard ball!


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