Settlement Agreement Finalized in Closure of San Onofre Nuclear Plant

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The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Photo by Don Ramey Logan Jr. via Wikimedia Commons

The settlement agreement for the issues and costs related to the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is final after San Diego Gas & Electric and other parties notified the California Public Utilities Commission that they accept the commission’s request to remove a provision to fund university-conducted greenhouse gas research, SDG&E announced Friday.

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The settlement agreement together with the utility shareholder agreement among SDG&E, Sempra Energy and Southern California Edison removes the remaining costs related to the plant’s closure from SDG&E customer bills, according to Wes Jones of SDG&E.

Typical residential customers will receive a two-month bill decrease beginning Nov. 1 of about $6.84 per month and a 0.9 percent ongoing monthly average bill reduction, which equals about $1.33 per month for a typical residential customer, Jones said.

SDG&E will be reimbursed by SCE under the utility shareholder agreement for those reductions, which SDG&E estimates to be approximately $160 million, Jones said.

“This settlement is good for our customers and is a positive conclusion to the investigation into the original SONGS settlement and related events,” said Dan Skopec, SDG&E’s vice president of regulatory affairs.

Southern California Edison, as the majority owner and operator of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, closed the plant in 2013 and began decommissioning activities.  The settlement comes after a multi-year investigation by the California Public Utilities Commission into the plant’s closure and related costs.

The parties reached a settlement in 2014 regarding the allocation of costs between the utilities and their customers, which was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. After allegations of improper communications between SCE and the commission surfaced.

The commission reopened the proceeding to investigate the claims and determine if the alleged communications impacted the previous settlement. No violations were alleged to have been committed by SDG&E and no penalties were assessed on it.

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The settlement agreement and utility shareholder agreement followed the reopening of the proceeding by the commission.

–City News Service

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