By Tim Fitzpatrick
Recent guest Viewpoints in The (San Luis Obispo) Tribune encourage PG&E to look to renewables, including solar, as an alternative to nuclear power.
What our customers should know is that PG&E strongly believes in the value of renewables and is leading the way in investing in them. We are one of the country’s largest purchasers of solar, including power from two significant projects on the Carrizo Plain here in San Luis Obispo County. That’s one reason why PG&E has earned a top utility award for the most solar added to the grid for five years in a row. In fact, several of the largest solar projects under construction in the world are under contract to PG&E.
Solar has great value, but the undisputable reality is it cannot generate electricity when the sun isn’t shining, just as wind turbines cannot produce power when the wind isn’t blowing.
That’s why we also harness other sources of 24/7 energy, including nuclear power.
Diablo Canyon Power Plant is the backbone of our system, safely providing electricity to more than 3 million people using just a fraction of a percent of the land that would be required for an equivalent amount of solar while producing zero emissions.
Diablo Canyon’s ability to generate safe, carbon-free electricity around the clock enables PG&E to deliver on our promise to power our customers’ lives and California’s economy with some of the cleanest electricity in America. In fact, with the important contribution of zero-emissions power from nuclear, more than half of PG&E’s electricity is generated from carbon-free sources.
We’re proud of this record of producing safe, reliable, affordable — and clean — energy, and we’re committed to doing even more in the future.
Tim Fitzpatrick is PG&E’s vice president of corporate relations. This commentary originally appeared in The (San Luis Obispo) Tribune.