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RBUSD to Consider Power Plant Position

The Redondo Beach Board of Education will consider whether to take a position on the application to repower AES Redondo Beach.

The Redondo Beach Board of Education will discuss Tuesday whether it should take a position on the application to the California Energy Commission to build a new power plant to replace the aging AES Redondo Beach plant on Harbor Drive.

The item was put on the agenda at the request of two Redondo Beach parents who are staunch anti-power plant activists. One of the activists was Dawn Esser, the leader of the NoPowerPlant.com political action committee, who stressed that a new plant would produce more particulate pollution that would affect the health of children in the district.

On Nov. 13, both Esser and parent Scott Kaplan asked the school board to pass a resolution opposing a new power plant and to write a letter to the CEC stating the school board's opposition.

The current AES Redondo Beach power plant uses once-through cooling, during which ocean water is used to cool the superheated steam used to spin the turbines that generate electricity. Due to new regulations banning once-through cooling, the plant must be retired, rebuilt or obtain a special exemption to continue operating by 2020.

AES has submitted plans to rebuild the plant; however, opponents of the power plant—including NoPowerPlant.com—placed a measure on the March ballot. Measure A, previously known as the Power Plant Phase-Out Initiative, would rezone the AES property for up to 40 percent commercial and institutional uses and at least 60 percent parkland. Power generation would not be allowed on the property after 2020 if the measure passes.

Parent company AES Southland argues that a new plant will run cleaner, take up a smaller footprint, and provide California's energy grid with much-needed flexibility. Power plant opponents, on the other hand, contend the new plant will run more and produce more pollution, as well as continue to depress property values.

No staff report was attached to the online edition of Tuesday night's school board agenda, so it's unclear whether the board will debate whether to support or oppose AES' plans to rebuild as a whole, or focus on Measure A.

Nicole Mooradian December 11, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Hi Don, If you kept reading the paragraph, you would see that I noted that it would run more often. It's the first thing mentioned in the next sentence, in fact.
Bill Brand December 11, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Here is a link to the Air Quality section of the AES application filed with the California Energy Commission last month. In AES' own report, they show current particulate emissions going from 3.3 tons to 49.7 tons! That's not 'opponents' contending something. Those are now the facts. But I should point out that all our contentions to date have been vindicated with the recent AES filing. Go to Table 5.1-17 for AES' own numbers. This is at the max operating capacity, but even at half that, the emissions still increase by 700%! Nicole, agree with Sheri above. It's time to start saying, "AES' own application shows only one pollutant slightly decreasing and the rest increasing; some by as much as much 1500% because it will run so much more often." http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/redondo_beach/documents/applicant/AFC/Vol_1/RBEP_5.1_Air%20Quality.pdf
L. Campeggi December 11, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Hey Nicole, More often is so wide-ranging with many interpretations. Perhaps it's just simpler to cite "runs at 6.18% capacity currently, asking to be permitted for 25% to 73% capacity for a new power plant." What that equates to regarding the increase in particulate matter (PM) polllution is: 6.18% run rate YTD through Sept. 2012 - 3.3 tons PM reported annually 25% capacity run rate = 17.1 tons PM per AES' 11-20-12 CEC application 42% capacity run rate = 28.7 tons PM per AES' 11-20-12 CEC application 73% capacity run rate = 49.7 tons PM per AES' 11-20-12 CEC application It's kind of like saying 60% parkland on the Measure A rezoning when it should say 60%-70% recreation / open space. People read "parkland" and don't glean that "parkland" includes recreation like sports fields/courts, picnic areas, water features, bike paths and more. Anyway, don't want to harp too much on that one here as this article is about the school board. Thanks for continuing to report on this critical issue.
Fred Reardon December 12, 2012 at 12:43 AM
We desperately need more leaders in our community to step up, be courageous, and speak out against this toxic threat to the health and safety of our children!
Gerry O'Connor December 12, 2012 at 07:36 AM
Simply amazing. No matter how high the pile of facts continues to grow, AES's alternative pile of intentional misrepresentations still gets reported upon as though it has legitimate foundation. I don't yet know what happened in tonight's RBUSD Board meeting, but as others have pointed out this clearly *is* a School District issue, and It's high time some other Redondo elected representatives join Bill Brand in actually considering and fully comprehending the abundance of facts, and properly representing the clear desire of a majority of their constituents by taking a firm stand in opposition to a new Redondo power plant. It really is that simple.

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