Ratepayers may be off hook for some San Onofre nuclear plant costs

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Mae Ryan/KPCC

The California Public Utilities Commission on Monday recommended denying reimbursement to two utilities for the cost of replacement power while the San Onofre nuclear power plant was temporarily idled.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) said Monday ratepayers shouldn't be on the hook for replacement power bought by utilities while the San Onofre nuclear power plant was off line for several months.  

In a news release, the CPUC says it has issued two proposals regarding San Onofre costs for commissioners to vote on at their October 31st meeting.

The proposals would deny reimbursement to Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) for replacement power they bought while the San Onofre plant was temporarily shutdown between January 2012 and June of this year when it was permanently closed. 

The CPUC has an on-going investigation into the closure and costs related to Edison and SDG&E utility rates. The commission has set an October 1 meeting in San Diego to consider ratepayer refunds for San Onofre costs already collected in utility bills.  

“I want to assure customers that they will not pay twice for the costs associated with the outage of San Onofre while the CPUC investigation comes to its conclusion," said CPUC Commissioner Mike Florio in the news release. "This is a question of fundamental fairness to customers. We expect SCE and SDG&E to continue to procure energy to meet customer needs and according to our long-term plans and renewable energy goals.”

Edison and SDG&E rates are still expected to increase this year to cover replacement power due to the permanent closure of the nuclear plant. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission holds its first public meeting Thursday in Carlsbad on the decommissioning of the nuclear plant.

 

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