PUC Clears Way for New Power Plant in Otay Mesa

February 6, 2014

The state Public Utilities Commission gave its unanimous blessing Wednesday to an energy purchase agreement that clears the way for construction of a 305-megawatt power plant in Otay Mesa. 

The 5-0 vote by the CPUC approves a 25-year deal between San Diego Gas & Electric and the Pio Pico Energy Center. Terms calls for the plant to be functional by Sept. 1 next year, with the flow of electricity to SDG&E starting in 2017. Until then, Pio Pico will be considered a merchant generator,  selling on the wholesale market, CPUC President Michael Peevey said.

Environmentalists opposed the plant, contending the loss of supply from San Onofre should be filled by renewable sources. "Now, SDG&E ratepayers in San Diego face financial and environmental burdens for at least the next 25 years, and all Californians will feel this ripple effect on our climate, our health and our economy," said San Ysidro resident Roddy Jerome, in a statement put out by the Environmental Health Coalition.

The coalition claims the plant will create more pollution in the South Bay, put ratepayers on the hook for at least $1.6 billion and have a detrimental impact on climate change. 

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