Nukewatch Quarterly Spring 2016
The State of California, a US solar energy leader, reports 3,795 megawatts of solar electricity generation capacity installed across 479,572 projects—many of them home rooftop units—as of February 24. This puts solar at more than 175 percent of the combined 2,160 megawatt generation capacity of the state’s two operating nuclear reactors, at the Diablo Canyon facility near San Luis Obispo.
California plans to invest a total of $3.351 billion over seven years (2007-2016) in encouraging solar electric production through its Go Solar California! initiative, which has apparently surpassed its goal of installing 3,000 megawatts. This investment is approximately equivalent to the $3.3 billion decommissioning tab ratepayers have to pay for California’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, which permanently closed in 2013 following a botched steam generator replacement and radioactive leak. The $3.3 billion will be used to cover the cost of the profit San Onofre owners Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric would have made if the facility had continued to operate over the next 10 years. Ratepayers will be responsible for an estimated $10.4 billion in total shutdown costs once decommissioning of the reactor site is completed—that’s about $1,600 per customer meter.
—KPBS Aug. 5, 2015; California Energy Commission; Go Solar California