Jim Light is spot on when he writes in the Tear Down This Power Plant blog that the landmark ruling the California Public Utilities Commission made last month requiring investor-owned utilities to build 1,325 megawatts of energy storage by 2020 “means more natural gas plants, like Redondo’s can be permanently retired.”
He also wisely features the entirety of the Evan Gillepse’s terrific piece for Sierra Club’s Compass site which includes what we consider the money quote from that article:
This is a game-changer in so many ways. It’s impossible to justify the construction of any new natural gas project when cost-effective, clean alternatives exist. Technology and innovation, coupled with smart policy, are changing the game and put California at the cusp of rendering fossil fuel plants obsolete. Think about that. With storage and clean energy now being built together, the endgame of a truly clean, modern electric system, completely free of fossil fuels, is within reach. Amazing.
AES is already developing large scale energy storage and just last month celebrated surpassing 100 megawatts of storage using batteries like those above.
But batteries are just one proven means of storing renewable energy. You can use molten salt and they’ve been doing just that in Spain since June of 2011 to run a solar power plant 24 hours a day. Yeah, imagine that, solar power when the sun isn’t shining. Even when it’s dark. You can do the same thing to store wind energy.
So there’s no reason in hell to keep burning a toxic fossil fuel right here in the neighborhood. Stick a fork it that eyesore. It’s done.
After we tear down the old AES Power Plant they should get out of the business of burning carbon and pay for the damage and destruction they’ve caused with their greenhouse gasses and pollution by supplying our beach communities with free renewable energy storage. That’s the least they owe us.