On Nov.1, in a regular meeting, the Oxnard City Council unanimously approved an agreement with GenOn, the owner/operator of the Ormond Beach Generating Station, to establish a trust fund to finance the proposed park.
This agreement would only go into effect, if the state agrees to extend the life of the plant. Currently, the station’s decommission date is schedule for Dec. 31, 2023. The State Water Resources Control Board has yet to make that decision.
City Manager Alex Nguyen stated, “Our goal here is to leverage the fact that the power company is going to be forced to stay open.” The possible extension is an effort to meet the state’s electrical grid needs.
In September, a report from the Statewide Advisory Committee on Cooling Water Intake Structures recommended the state water board extend decommission deadlines for three power plants–Alamitos Generating Station, Huntington Beach, and the Ormond Beach stations that use ocean water to cool the facilities.
The Ormond Beach plant is located at the southeast end of Oxnard at Edison Drive. The sandy beach is mostly surrounded by agricultural lands.
The Ormond station gas-fired plant had been scheduled to end operations in 2020, but the state water board extended its operations until 2023.
If the state extends the stations operations again, GenOn will establish a trust fund for construction of the future Ormond Beach Park. If this comes to fruition, the city will develop plans for building the park and present them to GenOn by the end of next year. After the plant is removed, the building of the park could begin.
The plan is for GenOn to make monthly payments to a trust fund of either $5 million or $10 million, depending on the length of the extension of the power plant’s operation.
“We are pleased to reach agreement with the city of Oxnard on a park development agreement contingent on continued operations of Ormond Beach in serving the (California) marketplace,” said Eric Watts, GenOn chief commercial officer, in an email to the city.
For more information about the state of California water resources board, visit: www.waterboards.ca.gov