- The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has rejected the proposed $4.7 billion settlement agreement between utilities and consumer advocates to cover the costs of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) closure and called for changes that would better benefit electricity customers.
- The proposed agreement called for SONGS co-owners Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to pay $1.4 billion and ratepayers to pay $3.3 billion.
- The PUC commissioner overseeing the San Onofre proceeding rejected the agreement, called for more burden on the utilities, and asked for revisions in how insurance monies will be apportioned, how monies recovered in legal actions against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the maker of the defective steam generators, will be apportioned, and how monies earned from San Onofre assets will be handled.
A ratepayer spokesperson said the decision is an important victory because it judges the first settlement to be too much in favor of the utilities. Ratepayer groups demanded the utilities take more responsibility for the 2013 closure that came after defective steam generators costing $680 million leaked small amounts of radiation. The spokesperson added that the CPUC should impose the cost burden on SCE and SDG&E, just as it did with the $1.4-billion fine it imposed on Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for its role in the fatal 2010 San Francisco area natural gas explosion.
The California Independent System Operator continues to struggle to meet the Southern California load in the wake of the 2,200 megawatt SONGS closure but has been able to fill in with natural gas, coal, and the state’s growing supply of renewables.