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The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), meeting today (March 21), turned down Quail Brush and Pio Pico power plants that San Diego Gas & Electric (SDGE) has been pushing for. San Diegans have expressed strong opposition to both plants, and showed up in the hundreds for today's session. A third new plant for Escondido was OK'd, but it has not generated as much controversy. However, Bill Powers of Powers Engineering warns that the CPUC on Friday slipped in a provision that "seems to open an avenue for a fast-track reconsideration," he says. Thus, he is concerned that SDGE will quietly push for these plants again. (Generally, the CPUC and the utilities that dominate its actions will try to dodge public arousal, but then quietly sneak something in while the public is celebrating its victory.) But Powers points out that commissioners tried to reassure San Diegans that today's denial gives the community two or three years before the question comes up again.

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Comments

Visduh March 21, 2013 @ 5:19 p.m.

There is some part of this story we are not being told. Today's Mill has a piece from Reuters and Bloomberg reporting that the California Independent System Operator is planning on reliance on voluntary conservation to avoid rolling blackouts. The reason for the shortage is the shut down of San Onofre. Just recently the South Bay plant was taken out of service because it was no longer "needed", obsolete (although it was generating power up to the end), and an eyesore. We are now short of power. The Sunrise Power Link was built to insure a "reliable power supply to the SDGE service area." Does it not seem contradictory that we took one power plant down, one that worked just fine, and now we need new ones? How about the contradiction that the SPL is ready to start delivering power, yet we may face rolling blackouts? Something doesn't add up here, folks.

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Don Bauder March 21, 2013 @ 8:33 p.m.

Visduh: Another possibility: the talk of a power shortage and voluntary conservation is part of a propaganda campaign to reopen San Onofre despite the obvious safety risks. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh March 23, 2013 @ 9:32 a.m.

Yes, that's a big part of it. The "Independent" System Operator probably isn't anywhere as independent as it would like the ratepayers to think. One thing I'm wondering is that if Edison really wants to reopen SONGS, it should stop all the posturing and order new generators. And that order should be placed with some enterprise other than Mitsubishi. Then it should sue Mitsubishi for failure to deliver a serviceable product. That is, if all their claims are true. Ahh, but if Edison is fibbin' then they don't dare put their dirty laundry out in public view.

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Don Bauder March 23, 2013 @ 3:20 p.m.

Visduh: I don't think Edison will sue Mitsubishi for the reason you cite: all Edison's dirty laundry would come out in the court fight. Best, Don Bauder

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