The California Public Utilities Commission has approved an agreement between Duke Energy and PG&E. This new partnership between an investor-owned company and a public utility will potentially bring much-needed revenue to Morro Bay over the next three years.
There has been a lot of discussion recently about the stalemate between Duke Energy and the city of Morro Bay over the fair price for renewal of the outfall easement lease north of Morro Rock.
Outfall easements are tunnels that lie below the surface of the ground and allow the movement of water from a power plant to a body of water, either ocean, river, or bay.
The Morro Bay Power Plant has an easement for a pair of tunnels that run more or less in a straight line from the plant to the outfall area on the north side of the Rock.
There are 21 power plants in California with similar easements. Easement width varies but is usually between 50 and 200 feet wide.
Outfall easement leases vary widely in price, depending on their location and their history. Lease costs throughout the state vary between a low of $2,100 and a high of $58,000.
The city of Morro Bay is asking for more than $750,000 per year for the outfall lease. Duke Energy is offering over $350,000, nearly five times more than any other power plant pays for an outfall lease.
The new contract with PG&E is a way for Duke Energy to continue to remain open and to begin to plan for a successful future in Morro Bay. Duke Energy employees are hoping for a winning compromise between the two entities, so that we may keep our jobs and remain in our community.
Production team leader
Morro Bay Power Plant