In Southern California, utility NRG Energy has announced that it will retire three natural gas-fired power plants over the next 12 months.
The announcement comes as California residents ramp up opposition to fossil fuel fired power plants as the state continues to make progress toward its bold renewable energy generation goals.
The three power plants, located in Rancho Cucamonga (Etiwanda), Oxnard (Ormond Beach), and Goleta (Ellwood) are scheduled to close in the next 12 months.
NRG Energy’s Etiwanda plant is scheduled to close on June 1st, the Ormond Beach facility will close on October 1st. The Ellwood natural gas-fired generating facility will officially end its run on January 1st, 2019.
The Sierra Club is celebrating the slew of closures coming in the next 12 months as key indicators of a transition to renewables that is well underway,
“Closing these plants is more proof that clean energy is driving gas out of California. As clean energy grows, our reliance on gas generation is falling quickly and we urge the California Independent System Operator to continue looking at innovative ways to replace these projects with clean energy solutions” Evan Gillespie, Campaign Manager for Sierra Club’s My Generation Campaign said.
“Clean energy is the preferred option among Californians and in particular the communities most often forced into housing our country’s polluting power plants.”
The closures confirm that natural gas-fired electricity generation across the United States is on the decline after a massive ramp up over the last 15 years in a race to replace coal-fired electricity generation.
Gladys Limon, Executive Director of the California Environmental Justice Alliance, said: “With this new development, we expect our public agencies and utilities to rise to the occasion and meet their responsibilities to both protect the public’s health and safety and ensure that environmental justice communities transition into the clean energy future.
"Decision makers must fully open the door for clean energy solutions that will bring local jobs and clean air to communities across California.”