AES Power Plant and Power Lines
The South Bay Parkland Conservancy has been an active advocate for the removal of the AES power plant and power lines in order to build a park and landscape corridor. Residents of Redondo Beach have a once in a lifetime opportunity to eliminate “the major blighting influence” on our waterfront and add substantial amount of parkland and open space to our “park poor” city. Our actions or inaction will determine the future of our city for generations to come. Take a moment to learn about the history of the AES site and how we are ensuring the community understands our intentions and can join the effort to create one of the largest parks in the South Bay!
AES Site history
1700’s – Tongva/Chowigna Indians use salt from old Redondo salt lake to barter with other tribes. Settle in village called “Onoova-Nga” (Place of Salt)
1854 - Manual Dominguez sells salt lake to Pacific Salt Works. Tongva/Chowigna relocated to missions.
1862 – Pacific Salt Works goes bankrupt and land bought by Francis Mellus, employee of Pacific Salt Works
1881 – Salt production discontinued
1888 – Original plan for Redondo Beach sets aside salt lake for recreation
1892 – Redondo incorporates as a city
1897 - Small steam power plant built, followed by other small plants
1913 – Plant used only for emergencies
1930 - Consultants recommend creation of park on site
1934 – SCE Power Plant Closes
1941 – “Old Salt Lake” designated CA Historical Landmark No. 373
1944 – Consultants recommend creation of regional park at site
1946 - Old plant demolished
1948 – Salt lake filled in for new power plant – Units 1-4 are installed, buildings and units still standing today
1957 – Units 5 and 6 completed
1967 – Units 7 and 8 are completed
1980’s – Proposal to convert power plant to “Redondo Fun Park” fail
1998– AES acquires power plant from Edison. Units 1-4 inactive, Units 5-8 used by need
2000-2002 – AES works with City to rezone power plant for high density condos (Heart of the City). Defeated by resident referendum petition.
2004 – City does ground work for rezoning to “Ocean Reserve” with power plant phase out required. New zoning shelved due to ongoing planning process
2005 - Citizens vote for a park at 50 acre site in Advisory vote versus another mixed-use development plan. City votes to allow parks as a permitted use at the site, but does not follow through with phase-out of industrial uses as proposed by staff.
2006 – Tear down of three smoke stacks and 5 fuel tanks completed
2010 – State of California passes policy to phase out ocean water cooling. AES Redondo given until 2020 to phase out ocean water cooling.
2010 – Measure G approved by voters, finalizing zoning allowing park uses on AES property.
2011 - AES submits repower plan to state
Don't we need the power? No, we don't!
2008 “Aging Power Plant” study by CEC shows:
AES Redondo produced less than 0.1% of power used in California in 2008.
Units run sporadically when called up – shut down for months
Produced less than 5% of its capacity
2010 Report by ARB, CEC, CAISO and CPUC shows:
Significant new power sources added to grid
New power plants built, new external power sources added, new transmission capability added
Continued requirements for local power plants in El Segundo and Huntington Beach, but none for Redondo
2008 “Power Plant Fact Sheet” by CEC shows:
76 Units retired in California since 1998 for a total of 6,190 MW.
This does not include plants retired in last 3 years, including 2 in San Francisco and one in Chula Vista
2010 “Power Plant Fact Sheet” by CEC shows:
87 units have been approved since 1998 for a total addition of 33,514 MW – greater than 50% increase since deregulation
2013 Local Capacity Requirements - 8,585 MW
2013 Total Dependable Local Generation - 11,951 MW
Surplus - 3,366 MW
AES Redondo is 1357 MW - less than half the surplus existing for 2013 projections of the LA area. Capacity in LA area to retire a plant – CEC staff