Southern California Edison (SCE) plans to spend $12 billion over the next three years in an effort to adjust to new technologies.
Most of the investment will be on upgrades to electric poles, transformers, wires and cables, but about $240 million a year will go toward new power generation.
The California Public Utilities Commission is expected to vote in November on SCE’s proposal for three new gas-fired power plants, which would help replace power generation lost when San Onofre nuclear plant was shuttered after a faulty replacement steam generator leaked.
The plants are part of SCE’s plans to buy 2,211 MW to supply nearly a million average homes, but critics say SCE’s pursuits contradict the state’s plan to increase its power generation from renewables.
In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law increasing the state’s mandate for generation from renewable sources to 50 percent by 2030.
But Bill Powers, of Powers Engineering, says SCE’s new gas plants would increase greenhouse gas emissions.
“There is overwhelming investment in conventional natural gas-fired generation and transmission with only a sprinkling of local clean-energy resources – even though, by state law, clean energy resources must be first in line to meet any new need,” Powers said to the Los Angeles Times.