Why gas-fired power plants are on the chopping block in SoCal

NRG Energy announced last week it would close three gas-fired power plants: The Etiwanda plant in Ranch Cucamonga, the Ormond Beach plant in Oxnard and the Ellwood plant in Goleta. They were aging plants, built in the 1960s and ’70s.

But plans for some new plants are also being sidelined. Last October, NRG asked the California Energy Commission to suspend processing its application to build another gas-fired plant, known as the Puente power project in Oxnard, shortly after two commissioners indicated they would recommend it be denied a permit.

Also last week, energy company Calpine suspended its application to build a new power plant in Oxnard, along the Santa Clara River. That had been opposed by the Wishtoyo Foundation, which represents the cultural assets of the Chumash tribe of Native Americans. In its notice to the California Energy Commission suspending the application, attorneys for Calpine said Southern California Edison would not buy the plant’s power.

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