Electricity provider to close older, polluting power plants in California
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) plans to close five of its oldest, highest-polluting power plants in California to help make the power grid cleaner and more efficient, according to the Contra Costa Times.
The company is hoping to close the plants because they are each approximately 20 years old and operating by burning a byproduct of oil refining. These five power plants are in East Contra Costa County, in towns and cities including Pittsburg, Antioch and Bay Point.
Before any closures are finalized, the state’s Public Utilities Commission must give permission. These plants, while old-fashioned and unclean, produce approximately 100 megawatts of power for the state’s power grid. Just one megawatt can power 1,000 homes, according to the news source.
However, closing these plants will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than half a million tons per year and save ratepayers $15 million collectively over the next 10 years, states the publication. The energy produced by the plants would be replaced by more cost effective and environmentally friendly processes.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, PG&E recorded 8.7 percent higher second-quarter profits in 2011 than the same period last year.