Potrero power plant nears final days

The days for the polluting Potrero Power Plant on San Francisco’s eastern waterfront are officially numbered.

The California Independent System Operator, which runs the state’s electrical grid, will terminate its “must-run” agreement with the Potrero Power Plant on Jan. 1. The plant, owned by GenOn West, formerly known as Mirant, could operate during emergency situations until the end of February.

The energy that has been provided by the plant in the past will now be provided by PG&E through a cable running under the Bay.

The press conference Tuesday morning was held by Mayor Gavin Newsom, but it was truly a chance for outgoing Supervisor Sophie Maxwell to shine. She pointed out that she has been working on getting rid of the polluting plant since coming into office in 2002, and now the smokestack would be leaving with her.

Also on hand was City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who sued Mirant over working conditions at the plant. Noticeably absent was former Board President Aaron Peskin, who had pushed to replace the plant with a city-owned power plant. Noticeably present was Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, who had fought Peskin every step of the way.

John Chillemi, President of GenOn West, said 30 workers will be out of a job when the plant closes, and that the company has yet to decide what to do with the land.

“There’s a lot of value in the site, for us and the community,” he said.

 

 

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