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!


King harbor defense fund
AES site in perspective to highlight Redondo Beach and surrounding cities high density population. 

AES site in perspective to highlight Redondo Beach and surrounding cities high density population. 

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

Salt Marsh 1887 "Salt Lake Days"

Salt Marsh 1887 "Salt Lake Days"

AES site 1920 with Salt Marsh

AES site 1920 with Salt Marsh

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.

AES site 2004 showing where the "Salt Lake" was.

AES site 2004 showing where the "Salt Lake" was.

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

LA Basin

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

The AES site impacts the view of the coastline, air pollution, and the natural salt marsh currently being pumped.

The AES site impacts the view of the coastline, air pollution, and the natural salt marsh currently being pumped.