This image provided by NRG West shows the power plant before construction of a replacement facility.
Carlsbad city councilmembers voted unanimously Tuesday to build a new power plant to replace the Encina Power Station.
Since the early decommission of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, San Diego Gas & Electric officials say, even with the Sunrise Powerlink, San Diego County needs more power.
They, along with the city of Carlsbad and NRG Energy have agreed to tear down the old Encina Power plant and build a new one on the same site but further from Carlsbad's coastline just north of Cannon Road.
NRG West owns the 95-acre Encina site and believes the new plant will be less visible because it will sit in a bowl-like area on the property.
“This amended project is much better than any other scenarios we had in the past,” said John Chillemi, NRG Regional President. “It meets the best control technology which means emissions will be as low as possible.”
Carlsbad resident Kerry Siekmann thinks the new location is still too close
“Why take a scarce resource like coast property and put a power plant on it,” she asks.
Siekmann admits this is a better plan than ones before, but she believes safety is still an issue.
Now with plan approved, NRG has to get permits which will address some of those safety concerns.
Construction is expected to take about two years.
If all goes as planned, NRG says the new plant could be online by November 2017. An image (below) of the proposed power plant was shared by NRG West.