Letter to the Governor from clean energy companies regarding replacing San Onofre Nuclear power with renewable energy

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Replacement of lost capacity from San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Dear Governor Brown,

We, the undersigned leaders of the cleantech industry, thank you for making climate solutions and clean technology priorities of your administration. Under your leadership, California’s reputation has grown as a clean energy success story. Our state’s developing clean energy economy is due in large part to policies you established, which are driving innovation, creating jobs and stimulating investments as well as fueling the state’s recovery.

We are concerned that this legacy — improvements to the economy, clean tech innovation, and progress on climate — may be in danger. State agencies analyzing how to replace power for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), a 100% carbon-free facility, are considering allowing new fossil fuel plants to be built for a large part of that power. We believe this would be a step backwards for climate, clean tech and the California economy.

Replacing SONGS with new natural gas would be a missed opportunity to showcase the clean technologies coming out of California, which are fully capable of solving this decrease in generation capacity without using fossil fuels. Through renewables, energy efficiency, demand response and other smart grid technologies, California can meet all its future energy needs with clean resources. Choosing to build large new natural gas plants, on the other hand, would undermine California’s leadership position in tackling climate change in an economy – friendly manner.

The CPUC just made a historic decision — to procure 1,325 MW of energy storage by 2020. Rooftop solar is witnessing explosive growth, while utilities are on track to surpass their obligations under the renewable portfolio standard with numerous successful utility-scale renewable projects. These are just a few examples that demonstrate how landmark California policies, coupled with classic California innovation, can make fossil fuels unnecessary. Going forward, we can avoid building new gas plants as we show the world our leadership by using clean technology that exists today.

Thank you for your leadership and consideration of our vision for California’s future.

Nancy E. Pfund
Managing Partner, DBL Investors

(link to original letter)