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article imageClean energy forces three California gas power plants to close

By Karen Graham     Mar 10, 2018 in Business
Los Angeles - NRG Energy has confirmed its subsidiary, GenOn, plans to shutter three gas-fired power plants in California, continuing a trend of difficulties for fossil fuel generation in the state.
According to Sierra Club, the facilities to be retired are all in Southern California and include the Etiwanda, Ormond Beach and Ellwood plants. NRG spokesman David Knox said the three California plants are being closed for "economic reasons."
GenOn intends to shut down the Etiwanda plant in Rancho Cucamonga as of June 1. The Ormond Beach facility in Oxnard is slated to go dark as of Oct. 1 and the Ellwood site in Goleta is set to close as of Jan. 1 of next year.
NRG Energy acquired its GenOn unit in 2012. GenOn operates the plants and is expected to be spun off under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy agreement that was approved last year in June, according to Bloomberg News.
The news follows an announcement last month that GenOn would sell its Hunterstown gas plant in Gettysburg, Pa., for $520 million.
Gladys Limon, executive director of the California Environmental Justice Alliance advocacy group, said in a statement Friday that the retirement of the three plants was "long overdue" and called for state officials to look toward "clean energy solutions."
State-wide effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions
California regulators are pushing utilities to get rid of gas-fired power plants in an effort to cut the state's greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 from 2015 levels. And the state has been aggressive in meeting its goals.
In January, the California Public Utilities Commission approved an order that requires PG&E Corp., the state’s biggest utility, to change the way it supplies peak-demand power by using storage batteries or other non-fossil fuel sources.
More about California, gasfired power plants, NRG, community opposition, trend toward clean energy
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