Santa Barbara, California – The World Business Academy applauds the Friday, April 7 decision by California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Administrative Law Judge Regina M. DeAngelis to reject Southern California Edison’s request for a 30-year refurbishment of the 54-megawatt, natural-gas-fired peaker plant, located in the Ellwood area of Goleta. (Please see attached Proposed Decision.)
DeAngelis rejected the request “to give the Commission additional time to explore whether any approved need in the Santa Barbara/Goleta area can be met in a manner more consistent with the Commission’s goals of reduced reliance of fossil fuel.”
This Proposed Decision requires the approval of the CPUC Commissioners, which at the earliest could come at the CPUC’s May 11, 2017 business meeting.
World Business Academy President Rinaldo S. Brutoco said, “This is a major victory for local citizens and the World Business Academy’s program to prohibit future purchases of fossil-fuel power electrical generating stations. We will continue to press the CPUC to formally adopt this Proposed Decision to protect the health of the Ellwood schoolchildren and to insure a clean energy future for Goleta, Santa Barbara and the state of California.”
World Business Academy Research Director Robert Perry said, “This decision is consistent with the Academy’s advocacy of transitioning away from gas-fired, fossil fuel energy resources and toward clean, sustainable, locally-generated power in the Goleta/Santa Barbara area. This Proposed Decision further affirms as a matter of fact and law the extreme vulnerability of SCE’s high-voltage transmission lines, and that refurbishing a 40-year old peaker plant in a densely populated area is not a preferred way to resolve the energy issues affecting the Santa Barbara/Goleta area.” Peaker plants are power plants that generally run only when there is a high demand, known as peak demand, for electricity.
In its opposition to SCE’s proposed refurbishment, the Academy detailed the foreseeable and catastrophic consequences resulting from a transmission line failure and directly challenged the proposed refurbishment on both economic and environmental terms. The Academy focused on the likelihood of the Ellwood Plant operating far in excess of its allowed capacity during an outage scenario, and its close proximity (1,000 feet) to Ellwood Elementary School and homes built since the plant’s construction in 1974.
On July 15, 2015, Academy staff and members attended the Public Participation Hearing to testify and unite with Oxnard residents in opposition to the proposals, a fact specifically referenced in the proposed decision. The Academy also called for a dedicated proceeding to develop local energy resources in the Goleta/Santa Barbara area, a point the judge made as well. (Please see attached Academy Protest (January 12, 2015), Opening Brief (July 22, 2015), Phase 2 Opening Brief, December 1, 2016) and Proposed Decision (April 7, 2017).
Academy Protest: http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M144/K896/144896763.PDF
Academy Opening Brief:
Academy Phase 2 Opening Brief: