NRG subsidiary to close three power plants in Southern California

In another sign of the state’s power glut, three Southern California gas-fired power plants owned by a subsidiary of energy firm NRG Energy Inc. will close over the next few months.

. . .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.”

. . . About 50 people employed across the plants will be affected by the decision, Knox said. Employees will be able to apply for other open positions within the company, or if not, will receive a severance package that includes outplacement services, he said.

. . . Despite the decreased demand, California’s electricity rates increased — even as prices in the rest of the nation fell — to pay for construction of the new plants. Utility companies are guaranteed profits on new plants, regardless of how much power they sell, though government regulators say the overbuilding is part of their plan to avoid blackouts.

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