Will Morro Bay Power Plant sell soon?

February 25, 2015

morro bay stacksEnergy firm Dynegy announced Tuesday that it did not succeed in a search for a buyer for the Morro Bay Power Plant, but the company likely faces pressure to eventually unload the closed facility. [Tribune]

A Dynegy spokesman said the Morro Bay Power Plant property had been on the market since late last year. Dynegy was also trying to sell its California energy facilities in Oakland and Moss Landing in Monterey County, but the bids submitted for the three properties came in below expectations.

Dynegy closed the Morro Bay plant in early 2014 after it announced the facility was no longer profitable. To keep the plant running, the company would have needed to invest heavily in making the facility compatible with California environmental regulations.

While Dynegy may not be in a rush to sell the plant, it must unload the property by 2033 or the city of Morro Bay could snatch it at the cost of $1. A clause in the current power plant deed allows the city to do so if the facility goes 20 years without generating electricity, City Manager David Buckingham and City Attorney Joseph Pannone said.

The Morro Bay City Council discussed a potential sale of the property at its meeting Tuesday night. A majority of the council favored reaching out to potential buyers and using its rezoning powers to make the property more desirable

Councilman John Headding said his research indicates that Dynegy does want to get rid of its California properties. They want to sell the facilities due to the state’s strong environmental standards and the lack of profitability at the sites, he said.

Headding suggested that conservation organizations with access to millions of dollars should create a preserve at the power plant location. The preserve could work in conjunction with a development on the property, he said.

Councilman Noah Smukler said the city should contact Washington, D.C. legislators to see what kind of use they suggest for the site. Smukler also said the nonprofit Pacific Wildlife Care Center should be allowed to continue rehabilitating non-marine animals at the location.







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26 Comments

  1. Slowerfaster says:

    Convert it to tidal electricity generation. It is being done around the world:

    http://www.ihctidalenergy.com/projects/ http://www.tacardo.com http://www.tenaxenergy.com.au/qa.html

    Many others. including China.

    The USA is too stupid and technologically backwards to even consider this, unless some billionaires give the say-so.

    (-10) 12 Total Votes - 1 up - 11 down
    • Rich in MB says:

      Fools and their “green dollars” are soon parted.

      (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
    • r0y says:

      If the USA is “too stupid” and backwards, why stay and complain? How does that make you look?

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
    • taxpayer says:

      I think this kind of sums up the current city council’s way of thinking: If we could just be more like China, Morro Bay would be a wonderful place. This is how these people think. Unbelievable!

      (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  2. Rambunctious says:

    I want to buy it… I’m going to sell coffee. I’m going to have the biggest coffee shop in the city. Maybe the world. And I’m going to put in a mile long Pilot Parket to go along with it. I’m going to call it Hot Dog I just increased my restaurant size.

    (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  3. SanSimeonSam says:

    CONVERT IT TO A DESALINATION PLANT…..

    We need the water and will need the water for decades to come. The conversion would be less costly than demolishing it. Pipe the water to Whale Rock and feed the county from there. San Diego is doing this. Surely we can find some crooked contractor that will bribe our supervisors and city officials into agreeing. Hell lets talk Grossman into the project.

    (6) 20 Total Votes - 13 up - 7 down
    • Spacetrekker says:

      Dudes/Dudettes – Convert it (or rezone it) to a dispensary with it’s own on-site grow area. Those three tubes would make the Guinness record for biggest bongs in the world!

      (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
    • Rambunctious says:

      We have a desalination plant but the coastal development permit for the city’s salt water wells and outfall system has expired. City officials are working with the California Coastal Commission to get the plant permitted once again.

      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
  4. MBvoter says:

    We allowed this to happen. Morro Bay voters spoke when they overwhelmingly voted for Duke’s upgraded modernized plant. We would have an updated facility generating energy, jobs and tax dollars, but like so often in Morro Bay we let the vocal minority shut it down. Guess they showed us, now we have no revenue, lost jobs and have a plant closed that will sit there for years. Don’t worry Washington will bail us out. LOL

    (21) 33 Total Votes - 27 up - 6 down
    • Theo P. Neustic says:

      Never good to kill your goose that lays golden eggs. Someday when the whole country is in ruin and beholding to all the rest of the world, the people may get the idea that it wasn’t so smart to allow these leftist/enviros to get into positions of such power.

      (14) 28 Total Votes - 21 up - 7 down
  5. taxpayer says:

    In 2004 the cost to demolish and clean up this site was estimated at 55 million dollars. If the City of Morro Bay ever takes this location over for 1 dollar, they will be responsible for millions of dollars in cleanup. The site can’t be rezoned until it’s cleaned up.

    (15) 21 Total Votes - 18 up - 3 down
  6. Gsan says:

    Most of you will weep if you read this:

    http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/morrobay/documents/applicants_files/AFC_vol_1a/app_1a_20_ProjectDescription.pdf

    Who killed this? Most credit goes the City of Morro Bay for its greed at the time.

    (9) 15 Total Votes - 12 up - 3 down
    • Pelican1 says:

      The Coastal Alliance killed the project. Do some research and you will see just how this group
      of “concerned” citizens has essentially destroyed Morro Bay.

      (14) 22 Total Votes - 18 up - 4 down
      • taxpayer says:

        Do some research and you will see that the same group who killed this opportunity for Morro Bay are the same people who supported and elected the current city council. This one project would have had a positive economic impact of 800 million dollars during construction. Morro Bay was incorporated because of this plant. If a nonprofit buys the site they will pay no taxes. There are consequences to bad decisions and all the chickens are coming home to roost.

        (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
        • Pelican1 says:

          Oh, I am clearly aware of that. Sadly, these people don’t give a $hit. Morro Bay has become a NERD sanctuary sans commercial fishing, power generation,kite flying, fireworks, hunting. and any sense of rational thinking.

          (11) 17 Total Votes - 14 up - 3 down
    • Pelican1 says:

      Well what do you expect from a group who said the power plant represented nothing more than death to marine life for over 50 years.

      (11) 21 Total Votes - 16 up - 5 down
  7. Gsan says:

    Conversion to anything is expensive. In 2033 the power plant will not have changed from 2013.

    (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
  8. hijinks says:

    Sell it soon? Not likely. Who’d want the thing? First off, it will cost an estimated $50 million to demolish the plant and decontaminate the site. That’s an awful high premium on top of purchasing it. They should give it away. Maybe even pay somebody to take it off their hands.

    Never could figure out why Dynegy bought it from Duke in the first place, or why Duke bought it from PG&E, either. This plant hasn’t operated “profitably” for a coons age. It’s an old piece of dinosaur technology, isn’t needed, and doesn’t work well.

    Odds are city of Morro Bay could acquire it for a buck whenever.

    Best chances for a sale are to a promoter of industrial archaeology experiences — sort of a Halloween horror house experience. Then the building would at least have some use.

    Here’s another thought: should the stacks stay, as a familiar part of the landscape, or must they be wiped away as part of the Avilization of Morro Bay?

    (10) 14 Total Votes - 12 up - 2 down
  9. Rich in MB says:

    “Councilman Noah Smukler said the city should contact Washington, D.C. legislators to see what kind of use they suggest for the site.”

    Who in Morro Bay besides a Government hack gives a Rats Ass what the fools in Washington DC say or think about what we want to do here locally in our town! This is the exact illustration of Government gone bad. But it also is a perfect illustration of Morro Bay City Government. How many more energy jobs will be lost due to California regulations? We will soon find out when Diablo Canyon closes and all those good paying tax base jobs go bye bye…

    (30) 42 Total Votes - 36 up - 6 down
    • justbeware says:

      Rich, you need to run for office in MB.
      PLEASE CONSIDER!

      (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
    • Rambunctious says:

      Welcome to California…on paper we are the cleanest bankrupt state in the union.

      (8) 14 Total Votes - 11 up - 3 down

Comments are closed.