Pacific Gas & Electric on Monday submitted an application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission requesting to continue operating the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant until 2030. California lawmakers voted in September to keep the plant running, in an effort to maintain grid reliability.
Diablo Canyon is the last operating nuclear plant in California.
“This request to renew our licenses is another step to help California reliably achieve its bold decarbonization goals,” PG&E Chief Nuclear Officer Paula Gerfen said in a statement reported by The Sacramento Bee.
Diablo Canyon’s two units had been set to retire in 2024 and 2025, but concerns over the reliability of California’s grid prompted officials to reconsider. The plant provides about 8.5% of in-state generation.
The plan approved by legislators would keep each of the units running an additional five years, and it includes a $1.4 billion taxpayer-funded loan to PG&E to relicense the plant.
California faces a variety of grid reliability threats, including retiring gas plants and rising electricity demand. In 2021, the California Public Utilities Commission ordered power providers in the state to collectively procure 11.5 GW of new clean energy resources, but there are concerns that supply chain constraints and other factors could delay the projects.